2017 Kumeu River "Maté's Vineyard" Chardonnay New Zealand

SKU #1403843 97 points James Suckling

 The mineral character of this wine is currently so pronounced and the fruit so closed that it’s not easy, also because of the slight funk from reduction, to identify the grape variety. On the palate, this marathon-runner chardonnay is very clean and highly structured with lots of drive, the finish very long and complex. Drink or hold. Screw cap.  (10/2018)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Always the longest lived of the Kumeu River Chards, the 2017 Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay starts off smoky and flinty, marked by zesty grapefruit and lime fruit. It's medium to full-bodied yet tightly coiled, with great energy, thrust and vitality, which translate into tremendous length on the electric finish. Drink 2020-2013. (JC)  (2/2019)

94 points Vinous

 The 2017 Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay has a really beautiful, quixotic bouquet of apricot blossom, white peach, minerals and dandelion scents that waft temptingly from the glass. The harmonious, lightly spiced palate is very well balanced with crisp acidity and a succinct, perfectly pitched finish that offers just the right amount of sapidity. Superb. (NM)  (2/2019)

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. 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.


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By: Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/16/2019 | Send Email
We had the pleasure of tasting three different Kumeu Chardonnay's in a row to really get a full grasp of what they are doing. The consensus among the staff was a resounding "wow", especially the "Mate's Vineyard". The nose is round, with notes of buttered popcorn, honeysuckle, green apple, and lemon meringue. The palate is bright, with a biting acid, lovely salinity, and finishes with rounder notes of honey, popcorn, and lemon rind. If you are a California Chardonnay fan who is looking to branch out, you need to try this! For any fans of new Zealand, this is a must have!

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/16/2019 | Send Email
Aromas of toast, vanilla shadings, apple blossom and a touch of caramel stay clean and focused when this is poured and sniffed. The mid-palate is full of yellow apple and peach fruit and finishes with vibrant mineral intensity. This is clean, classy and sophisticated.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- 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.
Country:

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.