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 (2018 Vintage)
"Rays Road is Kumeu River’s new vineyard site in Hawkes Bay. This limestone hillside is at 180 m altitude, with a northerly aspect. It is dry-farmed to yield high quality grapes for wine under the Rays Road name for our Kumeu River label. This Chardonnay was hand-harvested, whole bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in older French Oak barrels to give a wine that is zesty and fragrant, with mineral complexity that is very true to its site.
All of our Chardonnay from 2018 is supple and approachable but the limestone soils of this vineyard give us quite a different expression to the vineyards we have in Kumeu. The wine is fragrant and flinty with a hint of pink grapefruit. The palate is supple but with a limestone edge that is piercing and lingering. It will be interesting to see how this wine develops but we fully expect to see it improve with bottle age along the same lines as the other Kumeu River wines."
94/100 Cameron Douglas MS, August 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"An impressive bouquet, palate and texture with aromas and flavours of ripe citrus and orchard stone fruits, layers of fine lees and oak along with ripe acidity and moderate alcohol give this wine the structure it needs to carry the weight and intensity of fruit. A wine with finesse, great texture and length. Balanced with medium+ length and complexity. Drink now and through 2024+."
5 Stars Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, October 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"The Kumeu River Rays Road Chardonnay 2018 is the first release of chardonnay from a newly-acquired Hawke’s Bay vineyard on a north-facing site with limestone soils. A pure, taut wine with chalk, mineral, grapefruit, citrus, bran biscuit and nutty oak flavours. An impressive debut."