2018 Kumeu River Chardonnay Estate

Year: 2018
Appellation: Kumeu
Country: New Zealand
Wine Advocate: 90
James Suckling: 93
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
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"The 2018 Estate Chardonnay delivers typical toasty-mealy aromas, plus notes of tangerine, white peach and pineapple. Medium-bodied and silky in texture, it's a bit restrained at this stage of its evolution, but it should blossom within another six months or so, then drink well for up to a decade.

Last May, Kumeu River's U.S. distributor, Wilson Daniels, hosted a vertical tasting of the winery's four different Chardonnays that extended from 2017 back to 2006 (48 wines in total). It was a remarkable event, with the wines notable for their consistency and ageability. Winemaker Michael Brajkovich, MW, was an early adopter of screwcaps, so all of these wines were under that closure, which no doubt contributed to the freshness and lack of variation you might expect in a tasting like this. Rather than repeat reviews of recent vintages, I've focused on the wines from 2013 and earlier, plus supplemented my notes on the vertical tasting with a first look at the 2018 vintage bottlings. As vintages go, it doesn't appear to be especially strong, yet the wines are still excellent. Quantities are down, as is the use of new oak-to better marry with the lighter style of the vintage." (WA)

"This has attractive fresh peaches and grilled pears with intensity and focus, as well as gently complex, spice and flinty nuances. The palate delivers so much supple and vibrant stone-fruit flavor. Drink now. Screw cap." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Kumeu River Chardonnay is drawn from six different vineyard sites in the Kumeu Region. We are particularly careful in selecting only the very best grapes from these vineyards for our Kumeu River Estate label.

Whole-bunch pressed
Indigenous-yeast fermentation
100% barrel fermentation
100% malolactic fermentation
11 months maturation in barrel