Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay comes from a vineyard planted in 1982. The fruit from Hunting Hill became a significant part of the original Kumeu River Chardonnay blend. Occupying the slope overlooking Maté’s Vineyard, it has always contributed lovely ripe and rich fruit to the Estate Chardonnay. Hunting Hill was replanted in 2000 and is now even better than before. Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay offers beautifully ripe fruit with a distinctive, mealy minerality.
Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay is hand-harvested, whole-bunch pressed. It receives indigenous yeast fermentation in barrel. All of the Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay goes through malolactic fermentation. Then it spends 11 months in barrel.
Under screwcap, the Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay will evolve over the next 5-10 years.
Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay Wine Notes
Cameron Douglas MS
“Fantastic bouquet – captivating with great depth and complexity, pure and definitive. Flavours of peach and ripe, fleshy apricot, meyer lemon zest and cashew, oak spices and rose-skinned apple. This package then repeats again and again. Contrasting acidity to the pure fruit core, a light saline note adding complexity and charm. Persistent flavours, lengthy finish, complex and urgent. A fantastic wine, ready for the cellar. Best drinking from late 2021 through 2026+”
Kumeu River Hunting Hill ChardonnayWinemaker Notes
“The 2019 vintage was exceptional and produced sensational Chardonnay across all vineyards. Hunting Hill is very distinctive in its terroir typicity, with piercing lemon/lime fruit lift and florality on the nose, richness and volume in the mouth followed by lingering acidity and minerality on the finish. This is an absolute classic example of how great the Chardonnay grape can be: A beautifully powerful, yet elegant and complex wine with long term aging ability”
The Brajkovich family have carved out a fine reputation based on their interpretation of the Burgundian varieties grown North of Auckland. There is a strong focus on regionality and single-vineyard wines. But their entry-level ‘Village’ range offers remarkable drinkability and complexity for the price. The Kumeu township is known for nothing except for the Kumeu River vineyards, and they are the only property producing quality wines in the region. Michael sources the grapes from vineyard plots within a 5km radius of the winery.
Auckland is one of New Zealand’s oldest wine regions, established in the early 1900s. Auckland is a large, geographically diverse area, encompassing three distinctive subregions. The island of Waiheke, West Auckland and Matakana.
The real gem of Auckland is the Chardonnay of Kumeu River.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation.
New Zealand shot to fame with their unique take on Sauvignon Blanc. The wines of Marlborough were unlike anything in the world at the time. And over a decade on, a lot of people still love that style. In my opinion, they dropped the ball. It could have been the next Champagne: Limited, rare, expensive. The following fashion was the robust Pinots Noir from Central Otago, for about 18 months they were the hot ticket red.
On the back of these fads, wine lovers discovered other regions. Pinot from Martinborough, Cabernet from Waiheke Island, reds from Hawkes Bay, the whites and Pinot from Nelson.
For me, New Zealand has a lot of potential, and perhaps their best wines are yet to come. I would argue that the wines are made to drink now or drink young. They are delicate with overt fruit, and most don’t chase savoury flavours.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.