88 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2009 Kumeu River Village Chardonnay gives delicate aromas of fresh peaches, baking bread and orange blossom with a hint of crushed stones. Medium bodied with a good amount of ripe apple and yeasty flavors, it has refreshing acidity, a gentle creaminess to the texture and a long finish." ~(Wine Advocate)
"Winemaking has been a part of the Brajkovich family history for more than half a century. It began in their small Croatian village where they farmed and tended small plots of vines. In 1937 they moved to New Zealand and worked in the local orchards and vineyards. They saved enough money to purchase a Kumeu property with a small vineyard. It was in 1986 that they took on a new focus and began producing Burgundy-influenced Chardonnay. Kumeu River is one of the best, if not the best, Chardonnay producers in New Zealand. They have been dedicated to Chardonnay for three decades and they have been given international awards and accolades. They make a stunning array of Chardonnays that redefines what can be done with that varietal in the New World. They have three levels of Chardonnay that they have modeled on the Burgundy hierarchy of village wine, premier cru and grand cru. This one, their least expensive, comes from vineyards in the Auckland area. Kumeu River takes care to be sure that this wine, their least prestigious one, still has grace and balance. An important part of the winemaking process is barrel fermentation is a blend of new and old French oak barrels. The Village wine is 1/3 barrel fermented. This process draws out the flavor nuances that are so crucial to these fine wine styles. Only indigenous wild yeasts are used to further enhance the texture and complexity. The result is subtle oak influences--a hint of creaminess--that harmonize with the delicate apple, peach and melon flavors with a hint of hazelnut. Great acidity holds it all together and invigorates the palate. Itâ€™s a great $20 Chardonnay."~(Monica McCall)
|Kumeu River Wines was established in 1944 in the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km northwest of Auckland.
At Kumeu River Wines, the winemaking philosophy is simple. We endeavour to grow grapes of the highest standard and then treat them with respect when we turn them into wine. In this way the potential quality is maximised, and we are able to produce wines that are truly representative of our land.
To this end, yields are kept low to improve the concentration of aromas and flavours in the grapes, and we harvest all of our grapes by hand. The white grapes are all whole-bunch pressed, which is time-consuming but gives us the best quality results. The reds are destemmed and crushed gently before being transferred to fermentation tanks. No yeasts are added.
Oak barrels from France play a significant, but never dominant, role in our wines. The white wines undergo fermentation in barrels, and the flavour nuances that are derived from this phase are crucial to these fine wine styles. The red wines are fermented for a prolonged period in stainless steel tanks, but they are also later matured in oak barrels to promote the development of bouquet and to soften the tannin structure of the palate. These are wines of great flavour intensity and complexity, but also with subtlety and elegance, and the potential to develop with further age.
We promote the malo-lactic fermentation in both our red and white wines. This bacterial transformation reduces and softens the acidity, and rounds out and complexes the flavour.
The Brajkovich Family is committed to ensuring that all Kumeu River wines are not only properly and correctly produced, but also possess characters of aroma and flavour that give our customers a great deal of drinking pleasure.