The Brajkovich family have carved out a reputation second to none for Chardonnay and every new release adds to that reputation.
If you are a fan of Kumeu River Chardonnay (and who isn't?) we suggest you don't wait for the inevitable accolades from around the world as the volume of the 2021 is down around 40% and it will be sold out long before then.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
"If you can taste history, duty, and family pride in a glass, it’s there in the Kumeu River Chardonnays… now producing some of New Zealand’s greatest Chardonnays, not to mention the world’s."
Winery notes (2021 Vintage)
"Kumeu River Chardonnay is drawn from six different vineyard sites in the Kumeu Region. We are particularly careful in selecting only the very best grapes from these vineyards for our Kumeu River Estate label.
The 2021 vintage was affected by spring frost in 2020 and subsequently yield was 35% less than usual. The quality however was excellent and has produced another fabulous Estate Chardonnay. Kumeu vineyards that contribute to this wine gave us a blend of Chardonnay that is particularly concentrated with very citrus, preserved lemon aromas and a dense layered palate with lingering complexity. This is a quality Chardonnay wine of style and pedigree that is delicious now but has the capability of aging as well as any of its predecessors."
94/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, June 2022 (2021 Vintage)
"So graceful and composed, and lovely to drink. White peach, pink grapefruit, almond and spiced biscuit, subtle mint/cucumber and floral perfume. It’s glossy and silky in texture, but bright and fresh, with a twist of lemon zest and green olive, a subtle flinty texture, and a long cool finish. Light and breezy too, delicate even, though not without flavour and intensity. These wines age well, so I suspect there’s a bit more to come here."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
Rated Excellent, 5 Stars & 93+/100 NZ Wine Rater, July 2021 (2020 Vintage)
"This wine has a very stylish, complex, alluring bouquet.There are appetizing aromas of green fig,red apples, and grapefruit with integrated white pepper, lees, and creamy malolactic influence. Delicious citrus fruit flavours persist on the palate, and the crisp acid is in perfect harmony. There is a wonderful energy to the palate which sings from whoa to go. This really is the complete package."
17/20 JancisRobinson.com (2020 Vintage)
"Lightly but not excessively reductive on the nose. Already quite expansive on the nose with beautiful impact on the palate: citrus, blossom and really neat acidity without much astringency. Elegant and racy – almost lightweight on the mid palate and then it is impressively persistent. A thorough delight already. Very Good Value."
95/100 Cameron Douglas MS, May 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"Just a touch closed in the first minute then the wine begins to unfurl with dramatic aromas of citrus and cashew, white peach and mineral, honeysuckle and baking spices. The bouquet is soft, fresh, varietal and captivating. On the palate – nothing short of amazing – with a precise and intentional texture of vibrant if not quivering layers of acidity and fruit, spice and oak. Fantastic wine with the perfect measure of oak, a light citrus tang and lengthy finish. Best drinking from today and through 2025+."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2019 Vintage)
"This wine ranks fifth in the company's hierarchy of six Chardonnays, after four single-vineyard labels, but is still outstanding. Grown at Kumeu, in West Auckland, it is powerful, with rich, beautifully interwoven flavours and a seductively creamy texture, but also has good acid spine. The key to its quality lies in the vineyards, says winemaker Michael Brajkovich: 'We manage to get the grapes very ripe.' Grown in several blocks around Kumeu, hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts and lees-aged (with weekly or twice-weekly lees-stirring) in Burgundy oak barriques (typically 25 per cent new), the wine normally undergoes a full, softening malolactic fermentation. The 2019 vintage has a real sense of youthful drive and potential. Bright, light lemon/green, it's an elegant, full-bodied wine with strong, ripe, citrusy, peachy flavours, finely integrated oak, mealy and savoury notes adding complexity, and a dry, long finish. Best drinking 2022+."