Farr Vintners Logo

2021 Kumeu River

Farr Vintners have championed the brilliant Chardonnays made at Kumeu River since we started importing the wines in 1989. These wines from New Zealand regularly beat Premier and even Grand Cru  white Burgundies that sell at many times the price in professional blind tastings. Jancis Robinson MW, Neal Martin, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, James Suckling and many other critics have given huge scores to the wines over the years.

2021 represents the third great vintage in a row for Kumeu. We have never tasted three stronger vintages in succession, and Michael Brajkovich - the winemaker - agrees, saying "I've never seen a run of vintages of this quality before." This is Michael's 40th vintage at Kumeu River. He is a modest man, not prone to hyperbole, which makes his assertion all the more encouraging. 

This quality has come at a cost in 2021 - volumes are down 30-40% this year and as such the wines are only available in 75cl bottles. Late spring frosts drastically reduced the potential yield in September, particularly in Auckland. The growing season was cool, preserving freshness with the highest recorded temperature 29.2C in mid-December. This preserves aromatic complexity through slow maturation, which is clearly evident in the glass this year. 

UK Sales Only

Our stock of these outstanding wines will be available for delivery from mid October.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Qty Units Price IB GBP Per Score
New Zealand2021Chardonnay Estate, Kumeu RiverBT100 \ 0  1200165.001294 TP120018.33333333333394.0094.00Chardonnay Estate, Kumeu River0.7530
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Flowering took place well ahead of normal. Yields were about 35% down overall because of spring frosts. The maximum temperature all summer was 29.2 degrees on the 9th of December which meant that 2021 was a long, cool, dry and sunny vintage which allowed for slow grape maturation, and the development of excellent fruit aromas and flavours. Harvest was completed on March 9th - about 3 weeks ahead of usual. Production levels are down but this is another excellent year at Kumeu River. All the fruit for the Estate is from owned and long-term managed vineyards. Maturation was all in oak barrels with 20% new oak. Paul Brajkovich told us that he prefers this even to the great 2020 vintage. 6000 cases produced. Pale lemon colour in the glass. Lime and struck flint on the nose, quintessentially Kumeu in style. There is real depth here, with both floral tones and a deeper, riper peach note. The palate is impressively dense and rich, with a glossy stone fruit core cut by taut acidity. Wood smoke pairs against intense citrus in this finely balanced, youthful and brilliant Estate reminiscent of the superb 2019. Very long and very promising. Another resounding success.

94
Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, September 2022
Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Qty Units Price IB GBP Per Score
New Zealand2021Chardonnay Rays Road, Kumeu RiverBT31 \ 8 380175.001293+ TP38019.44444493.1093.10Chardonnay Rays Road, Kumeu River0.7530
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

This single vineyard Chardonnay is made from the best vines in Kumeu River's new vineyards in Hawke's Bay on limestone soils. Grown at an altitude of 200 metres, conditions here are cooler than in most parts of the region. Michael Brajkovich comments that "the wines are particularly exciting and edgy, coming from low-yielding rootstocks and clones that have given some excellent aromas and minerality." Just a few new barrels here keep the oak taste to a minimum and - as ever- this reminds us of Chablis albeit with a bit more opulence. Undoubtedly the best wine from this site so far as the Brajkovich family learn more about the vines each year. Pale lemon colour with a cool nose of wet stone and green fruit. Apples and limes come with a light creaminess and just a hint of spice box from cleverly judged wood. Chalky and impressively savoury on the palate, this is delicate, refined Chardonnay with pithy textural intrigue. Flinty, with a strong yuzu note through to the finish, this site is now really starting to deliver.

93+
Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, September 2022
Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Qty Units Price IB GBP Per Score
New Zealand2021Coddington Chardonnay, Kumeu River

6 bottle minimum order

BT36 \ 6 438250.001295+ TP43827.77777733333395.1095.10Chardonnay Coddington, Kumeu River0.7530
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Flowering took place well ahead of normal. Yields were about 35% down overall because of spring frosts. The maximum temperature all summer was 29.2 degrees on the 9th of December which meant that 2021 was a long, cool, dry and sunny vintage which allowed for slow grape maturation, and the development of excellent fruit aromas and flavours. Harvest was completed on March 9th - about 3 weeks ahead of usual. The Coddington Chardonnay has a production of under 700 cases this year. Maturation was all in oak barrels with 25% Gillet barrels. 13.5% abv. Bright lemon colour with an immediate and impactful nose. Ripe peach, passion flower and a touch of tropical fruit together with spicy wood smoke and buttery roasted stone fruits. The palate is just as impressive, layering ripe, glossy fruit and generous spice together in a seductive package. Acidity keeps it all together, lively and mineral to give real focus. Coddington remains the more opulent of the single vineyard wines but recent vintages have added real depth and freshness. This is no exception. Excellent.

95+
Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, September 2022
Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Qty Units Price IB GBP Per Score
New Zealand2021Hunting Hill Chardonnay, Kumeu River

6 bottle minimum order

BT25 \ 0 300350.001297 TP30038.88888897.0097.00Chardonnay Hunting Hill, Kumeu River0.7530
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Flowering took place well ahead of normal. Yields were about 35% down overall in 2021 but less so at the Hunting Hill vineyard where there was no frost. The maximum temperature all summer was 29.2 degrees on the 9th of December which meant that 2021 was a long, cool, dry and sunny vintage which allowed for slow grape maturation, and the development of excellent fruit aromas and flavours. Harvest was completed on March 9th - about 3 weeks ahead of usual. Maturation was all in oak barrels with 25% new oak from Francois Freres. Very pale lemon colour. The nose here is full of lime, piercing in its focus and layered with flinty reduction. There is a touch of savoury wood smoke, harmonious with the intense fruit. The palate is very tightly coiled, as this site often is in youth. Limes and laser like acidity bring precision and focus. Steely, with a struck match richness through the mid palate, this is very youthful and needs time. The drive and intensity are unmatched, this powerful and wonderfully delineated wine should be a great Hunting Hill. Very long on the finish. Give it at least two years before approaching.

97
Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, September 2022
Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Qty Units Price IB GBP Per Score
New Zealand2021Maté's Vineyard Chardonnay, Kumeu River New

UK Sales only. Must be bought with an equal quantity of other 2021 Kumeu River Wines.

6 bottle minimum order

BT4 \ 048420.001297+ TP4846.66666666666797.1097.10Chardonnay Mate's Vineyard, Kumeu River0.7530
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Flowering took place well ahead of normal. The maximum temperature all summer was 29.2 degrees on the 9th of December which meant that 2021 was a long, cool, dry and sunny vintage which allowed for slow grape maturation, and the development of excellent fruit aromas and flavours. Harvest was completed on March 9th - about 3 weeks ahead of usual. Mate's Vineyard was planted in 1990 so these vines are now over 30 years old and low-yielding . Maturation was all in oak barrels with 30% new oak from mainly Seguin Moreau. Pale lemon colour. Fleshy stone fruits are immediate and enticing on the nose here. Peaches and cream meet brighter yuzu fruit, savoury wood smoke and a hint of reduction on this already complex nose. The palate follows, with glossy, ripe stone fruit lifted by waves of citrus. The creamy, generous depth is perfectly matched by fresh but balanced acidity. There is a tangible grip to this wine, adding further depth, textural intrigue and ageing potential. Succulent yet refined, the palate continues to flesh out and gain in intensity on the finish, revealing nutmeg, struck flint, white peach and passion flower, all the time remaining fresh and focused. Outstanding.

97+
Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, September 2022
Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Qty Units Price IB GBP Per Score
New ZealandN.V.Kumeu Cremant (Harvest 2016, bottled 2017, disgorged 2021), Kumeu RiverBT15 \ 0 180195.001291+ TP18021.66666666666791.1091.10Kumeu Cremant (Harvest 2016, bottled 2017, disgorged 2021), Kumeu River0.7530
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

This latest edition of Kumeu Cremant sparkling wine was made from 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir in the 2016 vintage (although there is about 8% of older reserve wine added to the blend to give more maturity and complexity). After 3 years of maturation in bottle on yeast lees the wine was disgorged in February 2021. Bright lemon in colour with a lively mousse. The nose is primary and vibrant, full of lemon fruit and a little creamy, biscuits depth. The palate follows in the same vein, with the mousse and acidity combining to offer a zesty, bright mousfeel against primary citrus fruit. With air, the tones of biscuit and fresh bread come through, adding savoury depth to a long finish. Chalky and fine, this is excellent to drink now but should improve with a year to 18 months in bottle.

91+
Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, September 2022
Back