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2018 Kumeu River "Kumeu Village" Chardonnay Kumeu

SKU #1483729 93 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark When compared with the almost severe austerity of this renowned Chardonnay producer's upper-tier wines, this entry-level one is downright boisterous. Bright gold in hue, it billows melon and stone fruit with undertones of honey and sea salt. The palate crunches with crystalline acidity wrapped up in texture that is simultaneously slippery and powdery, with a long, salt-flecked finish. Drink now and over the next few years Inner quote mark (5/2020)

91 points Bob Campbell

Outer quote mark Entry-level chardonnay made from hand-harvested grapes from Kumeu and Hawke's Bay. Impressive wine from a challenging vintage. Peach and apple flavours with an attractive seasoning of nutty yeast lees characters. A smooth-textured wine with a great balance of sweetness and fruity acidity. Offers good value at this price. Inner quote mark (5/2019)

90 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark There’s a fresh, lively feel here with a very generous core of peaches and melon. Attractive depth and generous, fleshy texture. Inner quote mark (10/2019)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Te 2018 Estate Chardonnay delivers typical toasty-mealy aromas, plus notes of tangerine, white peach and pineapple. Medium-bodied and silky in texture, it's a bit restrained at this stage of its evolution, but it should blossom within another six months or so, then drink well for up to a decade. (JC) Inner quote mark (11/2019)

90 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Michael Brajkovich, MW, blends this wine from six estate vineyards in Kumeu, holding to a consistently savory, structured style of chardonnay. Its flavors of nectarine, white peach and pithy lemon gained a broad and creamy texture from oak aging, while the fruit is saturated enough to remain the focus. A clean New World chardonnay with Old World elegance. (JG) Inner quote mark (4/2020)

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Price: $19.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/3/2020 | Send Email
There are few wines in New Zealand that shatter expectations like Kumeu River. This three-generation winemaking led by Michael Brackjovich has been crafting jaw-dropping Chardonnay that competes with the best Chardonnay anywhere. Although their single-vineyard Chardonnay’s like “Mate’s Vineyard” and “Hunting Hunting Hill” Vineyard often steal the show, their 2018 Kumeu River “Village” is the best rendition of their entry-level wine to date. With the core of this wine comes from Kumeu’s top-tier estate vineyards along with a touch of fruit from their Hawke’s Bay property, Michael asserts this is the best rendition of their “Village” they have every produced. Bright, and mineral driven on the palate with fresh lemon, citrus zest, and touches of white peach, what I love about this wine is its clean, and acid-driven palate that shows off Chardonnay as its most pure and transparent self. Vinous’s Neal Martin says it best when looking at Chardonnay prices elsewhere “you are left scratching your head as to why Kumeu River is not uttered in the same breath as Leflaive, Ramonet or Marcassin.”

By: Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/14/2020 | Send Email
Lemon curds and marcona almonds on the nose, yeasty with hints of ginger, reminds me of the Santa Cruz Mountains fruit profile. There is very little wood character but a little flint reminiscent of some of the best white Burgundy. The long mineral tinged finish really stands out for the price. Perfect with lemon chicken or crab.

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/14/2020 | Send Email
Kumeu makes some of the most serious, focused white wine in New Zealand, and maybe the entire Southern Hemisphere, making this fun, lifted glass of wine all the more enjoyable for it's distinctiveness. Medium bodied - with citrus, cantaloupe and honey tones, the warmth is balanced by a saline acidity at the finish.

By: Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/14/2020 | Send Email
New Zealand has been really showing the world that you can make great Chardonnay at $20 that will still take itself seriously. In a time where prices on California have been soaring Australia has stepped up for the New World. Meyer lemon peel, Asian pear, and a touch of meringue greet you on the nose with a background of popcorn kernel and fresh basil. The minerality on the palate helps keep it nice and even while it rounds out with notes of apple skin, pear, basil, kohlrabi, and cream. If this is what $20 gets you in Australia, California might want to watch out!

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