Feature Coverage

New Zealand’s Best White Wines

Joe Czerwinski chooses Kumeu River Chardonnay as one of New Zealand’s Best White Wines.

“In 1986, the Brajkovich family’s San Marino Vineyards was rechristened Kumeu River Wines and a new era was born. Chardonnay became the focus, and today, the wines are often mistaken for Burgundy in blind tastings. Originally, there was a single Estate Chardonnay, but following the Burgundian meme, winemaker Michael Brajkovich, MW, has introduced a number of single-vineyard bottlings. There’s also a Village bottling, which corresponds to a French villages-level wine. It features less oak and a lower price tag than the other Chardonnays.

Although the various Kumeu River Chardonnays differ considerably, they all share a sense of balance and restraint. The oak elements are beautifully integrated, seamlessly supporting the concentrated white peach and citrus fruit with hints of toast.”

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Joe Czerwinski, August 2012
New Zealand’s Best White Wines