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2007 Kumeu River "Estate" Chardonnay Kumeu New Zealand

SKU #1058952 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 There's an intense peach and butterscotch character on the nose with notes of lemon curd and honeysuckle plus a touch of ginger nut. Medium bodied with crisp acid and great concentration, it has a long finish.  (11/2010)

92 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 Wines of 2009* Bright, tangy and elegant, this vibrant wine has grapefruit and pineapple flavors at the fore, picking up apple and spice as the finish lingers effortlessly. Drink now through 2017.

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Kumeu River's Estate bottling remains among the finest in New Zealand, beautifully balancing oak and fruit in an intricate ballet of toast, vanilla, melon and pineapple. It's full bodied and round in the mouth, with no harsh or discordant notes on the lingering finish.  (7/2010)

Jancis Robinson

 Cool. Youthful, wet-wool sort of nose. Lovely fresh yet ripe fruit on the palate. A very nice package. Real pleasure for current drinking even if New World Chardonnay is, oddly, a category that relatively rarely seems to come my way at the moment.  (7/2010)

Wine & Spirits

 There's a gentle lemon and tart orange-citrus perfume to this wine, with oak age bringing an earthy leesiness. A full-bodied white for a veal roast.  (2/2010)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/12/2012 | Send Email
Flat out, Mike Brajkovich makes some of the best Chardonnay in the world. In blind tasting, his wines are consistently thought to be Premier Cru White Burgundy, at least, if not Grand Cru.They have been awarded top scores from the Wine Spectataor for years, making The Top 100 five times. Everything is done meticulously with the vines on a "Lyre" trellis system to optimise exposure to light for ripeness, yields that are kept low, they harvest by hand, and all whole bunch pressed. Only indigenous yeast is used for the wine and is 100% barrel fermented and goes through 100% malolactic fermentation. The nose offers notes of pear, quince, green apple, lemon blossom, flint, minerals, honey and spice. On the palate there is superb balance with incredibly precise, pure flavors that have a Puligny laser-like beam shining through to a long finish. The wine now with a little bottle age is drinking superbly and a great example of what a little patience can do, and all for $20!

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.