|New Zealand||2020||Hunting Hill Chardonnay, Kumeu River||BT||6 \ 0||72||360.00||12||72||40||97.00||97.00||Chardonnay Hunting Hill, Kumeu River||0.75||30|
|New Zealand||2020||Hunting Hill Chardonnay, Kumeu River||DM||1||1||150.00||bt||1||50||97.00||97.00||Chardonnay Hunting Hill, Kumeu River||3||30|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
The Hunting Hill site sits on the slope that overlooks Mate's Vineyard, and always produces Kumeu's most tightly-wound wines. The vineyard was replanted in 2000 to elevate quality, and at 20 years old in 2020 the vines are producing the best fruit the site has ever seen. This has been bottled as a single vineyard cuvée since 2006. The Brajkovich family are not ones to overstate a vintage, but in 2020 they believe they have even surpassed the magnificent 2019. Hand harvested and whole-bunch pressed, a spontaneous fermentation and maturation take place all in tight-grained Francois Frères barrels, of which 25% are new. Pale lemon-green in colour. Steely and tight on the nose initially, this reveals itself beautifully with air as it always does. Preserved lemon, peach skins and just a hint of lime come through. The palate is chalky and grippy with phenolics, built with superb structure for the long term. Against this is intense, cool fruit. Crystalline citrus and riper stone fruit come through together, building in intensity through the mid palate. The struck flint note is persistent throughout but always in balance with the fruit. Cutting acidity lingers on the finish in tandem with the fruit. Long and expansive, this should get ever better after a few years of bottle age.
Really nervy nose. Truly burgundian, if one is allowed to say this. Great fruit and great tension. Just the job and amazingly vibrant and persistent on the finish. You could drink this already but it will clearly last really well – though winemaker Michael Brajkovich is consistently cautious with his suggested drinking windows; 'will improve with bottle age for four to six years'. A hint of Puligny here. 14%
Drink 2021 – 2028
Oak – 100% barrel fermentation in 25% new French oak and 100% malolactic fermentation with 11 months maturation in barrel.
Hunting Hill is now a fifty quid proposition so you have to be a fan to get in here. This is a commanding HH and it shows the restraint and also the structure that this label can summon up in the best vintages. Backward, tense and self-conscious, this will be a resounding success but you must be patient. I would be tempted to put a ‘timer’ on for eight years. While this might sound crazy, in my experience, this will be around when this wine starts to blossom.
A complex chardonnay with yellow citrus, as well as lemon-curd and creamy tones. Light hazelnut, too. The palate has such all-encompassing, fresh peachy flavors and builds impressively through the long, full finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.