2016 Kumeu River "Estate" Chardonnay Kumeu New Zealand

SKU #1403523 92 points Wine & Spirits

 This is sourced from six sites throughout Kumeu. Despite extended lees aging and full malolactic fermentation, it’s creamy, with a centered, persistent acidity that buoys the notes of rich oak, toasted oats, dandelion greens and brown butter. Ideal for sautéed fish with cream sauce.  (4/2018)

91 points James Suckling

 Quite a rich and creamy wine for this producer, but with the usual polished texture and long finish. A little bit closed on the nose right now, although some gardenia and peach notes are showing. But this is just a phase it's going through. Drink or hold. Screw cap.  (10/2018)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Still a Kiwi classic, Kumeu River's 2016 Estate Chardonnay features toasted grain aromas, ripe peach and nectarine flavors and a long, citrus-inflected finish. It's medium-bodied, with a plump, silky texture and up to a decade of aging potential. (JC)  (2/2018)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Fragrant, juicy and floral up front, with pretty notes of peppery white flowers that mingle with lime, white grapefruit and apple flavors, set on a crisp, linear body. Shows plenty of tension from the vibrant acidity and lingering minerality. (MW)  (4/2018)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Kumeu's estate Chard is a blend of six different sites. Despite a few years in bottle, it's still relatively closed, showing a restrained toasty character along with red apple, pineapple and orange rind. The palate is more generous in a satiny texture and seamless backbone of acidity, accompanied by tangy, citrusy flavors and woody undertones. Drink now–2022. (CP)  (12/2018)

K&L Notes

The family who began this winery and still run it today are Croatian. Mick Brajkovich, together with his wife Katé and son Maté, emigrated from Croatia in 1938. Once they had saved up enough money, they bought a parcel of land in the Auckland area and began farming. They grew grapes and made wine for family consumption, as was common back home in Dalmatia. Very quickly the quality of their wines was recognized by the Auckland elite and they found that they had a growing wine business. As the family business grew, so did the family. The current generation’s winemaker, Michael Brajkovich, is the eldest son of Maté and has taken the business very seriously. He was the first winemaker in New Zealand to become a certified Master of Wine, and since the 1980s has focused the direction of the winery on Burgundian varietals. Kumeu River is known for its Chardonnay production.

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Price: $29.99

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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.