Selected for the Fine Wines of New Zealand List
The Brajkovich family have carved out a reputation second to none for Chardonnay and every new release adds to that reputation.
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)
"In 1990, Maté Brajkovich reworked the land and planted a new vineyard of Chardonnay vines on the site of the original vineyard that he and his family purchased in March 1944. The first grapes from this vineyard were harvested in March 1993, the year following Maté’s death. The resulting wine was released in November 1994 to coincide with celebrations marking the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Brajkovich Family’s arrival at Kumeu River.
The 2021 vintage for Mate’s Vineyard continues the amazing run of vintages we have had with this vineyard. We experienced a spring frost in October 2020 and this reduced the yield across all out vineyards. The rest of the growing season was excellent and the grapes harvested in in 2021 were ripe, rich and concentrated.. The resulting wine shows the density, concentration and length that we expect from a terrific Mate’s Vineyard vintage Although still somewhat shy on the nose, with bottle age the full palette of complex aromas and bouquet of this wonderful wine will be gradually and seductively revealed."
Michael Brajkovich MW, Winemaker notes (2021 Vintage)
"History will see 2021 sitting very nicely in the trio of outstanding vintages: '19, '20 and '21. 2021 was my 40th Vintage at Kumeu, and I have never seen a run of vintages of this quality before."
97/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, June 2022 (2021 Vintage)
"In my not-so-humble opinion, if Te Mata Estate Coleraine is New Zealand’s greatest red wine, then Kumeu Maté’s is probably their greatest white wine. Struck match, ginger, pink grapefruit, green pear, hazelnut, cut fennel and white flowers. It’s bony, tight and very flinty and ‘mineral’, with ripe lemon and zest, a subtle chicken stock/umami flavour, white mushroom and spice, firm and dry, a little dirt under the nails, and gap-toothed charm, a wild and unfettered beauty, and all the length and energy you could ask for. Superb. So wild, but so at ease with itself. Or something like that."
5 Stars & 95/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, July 2022 (2021 Vintage)
"Flagship chardonnay from a leading producer of the variety. Lush, concentrated wine with peach, nectarine, sizzled butter, hazelnut and spicy oak flavours. Distinctive and impressive wine with ageing potential."
Reviews for the 2020 vintage below…
100/100 James Suckling (2020 Vintage)
"This is such impressive chardonnay in terms of power and complexity, delivering so much with such poise. Aromas of lemons and peaches intersect with lightly spicy oak and brioche on the nose. The palate drops mouth-filling flavours of peach and lemon and winds tight, before exploding long on the finish with a long, nutty afterglow. Perfect chardonnay. Drink over the next decade or more. Screw cap."
Rated Outstanding & 98/100 Cameron Douglas MS, August 2021 (2020 Vintage)
"Smokey, fragrant with a floral, citrus and yellow stone fruits fruit centric bouquet. A powerful fragrance eager to show its complexity and potential, but with a youthful energy and core of promise. Soil smoke and barrel moments, lees and wood spices. Bold, fresh, dry, complex and intriguing. Flavours of grapefruit and sweet pith, white flowers, mandarin and apple blossom, yellow fleshed stone fruit and soft fruit and barrel spice moments. Densely mineral surrounded by fruit and acidity, quiet layers of oak. This wine will be fabulous and given time to develop will reward. Best from 2024/2025 through 2030+."
17.5/20 JancisRobinson.com (2020 Vintage)
"Pale gold. Quite an opulent nose. I must say the nose made me think involuntarily of some Corton-Charlemagnes. Really precise and mealy with perfect balance. You could already enjoy it but it will surely become even more complex in bottle. Long and satisfying, a wine designed to soothe sore throats. Quite a triumph; easy to see why it's the most expensive in this range."