The Chardonnays made at Kumeu River are the best in New Zealand, and have outshone the greatest names from Burgundy and beyond for decades. The brilliant run of vintages produced by the Brajkovich family continues in 2022, which has delivered some of the finest, most personality-driven wines we have ever seen at the estate.
2022 was a cooler vintage that peaked at just 28 degrees celsius. The slow, even ripening has produced refined, silky wines with great balance and ageing potential. Though the peaks in temperature were low, consistent, dry 25 degree weather throughout January allowed for perfect ripening conditions to retain delicate aromas.
2022 is a great vintage. We tasted the wines with Paul Brajkovich last week, and he was almost embarrassed by the run of quality they have had in the last four years. This vintage has produced single vineyard wines that are the most representative and best quality of their individual sites that we have ever seen. The Coddington is undoubtedly the best we have tasted, and as the vines reach maturity the depth and brilliance in Hunting Hill and Maté’s Vineyard is unprecedented. If these wines came from the Côte d’Or (and if you tasted them blind you’d likely think they did), they would be three times the price.
There are elements of 2020 and 2019 to the new vintage, but to us, it is more reminiscent of 2014, one of Kumeu’s great mature vintages. The wines are pristine in aroma, cool and vibrant with half a degree less alcohol than in the last few years. The palates are deep, with a persistence of acidity and structure that will allow them to age beautifully. A little shy on opening, they blossom with air and will reward a few months more in bottle, ageing gracefully in the cellar.
The Estate Chardonnay is fantastic again this year, a brilliant introduction to the vintage at a terrific price point. Ray’s Road is a step up again on last year, with a distinct, more Chablis-like profile due to its Hawke’s Bay origin. Buyers will love each wine this year, and as winemaker Michael Brajkovich MW concludes in his vintage report – “these are exciting times indeed”.
Please note that the Matés Vineyard must be bought 1:1 with other wines from the offer.