Categorized | Articles, Auckland, chardonnay

Kumeu River Chardonnay retrospective 2018

It feels like a very long time since June 2018, but the extraordinary tasting made available to GW and I rings loud in the cloister of the wine brain. Visiting Kumeu Estate is of course formative for the New Zealand wine enthusiast, and an exceptional opportunity to get a feel for history coupled to an arc of increasing quality – this idea extrapolates across the whole of the New Zealand wine community, but its writ large in the vineyards, cellar door, winery and the Brajkovich people of Kumeu.

The encroachment of Auckland’s urban sprawl highlights the tussle between farming pioneers and modernity. Listening to the Brajkovich’s speak of rolling farmland and agrarian life comes with a strong sense of nostalgia. Kit homes and townhouses, snakes of traffic on roads not quite capable of keeping up with the spread of metropolis, vineyard and farming land being eaten up by bulldozer hulks, speak loudly of Kumeu’s new neighbourhood. That being said, the vineyards of Kumeu Estate stand sentry – precious plots of once aspirational growth now landmark for New Zealand wine, and beacons in this shape-shifting landscape.

Chardonnay is the life blood of Kumeu. Or so it is written. An almost unswerving quality with distinct sheen and transparency, an able match of gentle winemaking overlay, but a commitment to a ‘house style’. It’s been like this since 1983, though the family’s vineyard presence stretches back to a small plot purchased in 1944. We saw our way back to mid 2000s from 2017. A glorious suite of wines. Here’s the findings:

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Tasted : JUN18
Closure : Screwcap


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