Kumeu River

Kumeu, New Zealand

Chardonnay, Estate, Kumeu – 2008

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • For the 2008 Estate Chardonnay, Kumeu River carefully selected only the very best grapes from six sites with vines ranging in age from 11 to 16 years. The vineyards have a primarily northern exposure with clay soil. The clonal mix includes 15, 121, 124, 131, 95, 8021 and 15.

    • Location: Kumeu is a sub-region of the Auckland wine district. Despite being situated well north of New Zealand’s other viticultural regions, Kumeu’s climate is kept cool due to its close proximity to the Tasman Sea, just 20 kilometers (nearly 12.5 miles) to the west, and the Pacific Ocean 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) to the east. These two large bodies of water generate clouds, keeping peak summer temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Vintage Report

    • 2008 in Kumeu was one of the best, brightest and warmest summers in memory. Normally temperatures max out at about 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), but there were a couple of days where the mercury tipped 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). The hot weather sped up ripening, and the vineyards were on track for not only an early harvest, but a superb one as well. As can be the nature of the terrain, the weather changed briefly a few weeks before vintage, and there were a few days of northeasterly winds bearing warm, wet air from the Pacific. The drizzly rain it contained (the French call it “English Rain”) introduced unwelcome botrytis infections throughout the vineyard. Fortunately, this weather pattern was short-lived, and the ensuing sunny autumnal weather soon dried out the vines, but the botrytis remained. During harvest, the fruit was hand-sorted to remove the botrytis-infected grapes and ensure only the highest-quality fruit was taken to the winery.

  • Vinification

    • Whole-bunch pressed

    • Fermentation: Indigenous yeast
    • Malolactic: 100%
    • Barrel Fermentation: 100%
    • Barrel Aging: Aged 11 months on lees in 20% new, 80% 1-5-year-old 225-liter/60-gallon French oak
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Production (in cases): 7,000 cases
    • Production Case Pack: 12/750ml
    • Cases Imported: 2,000
    • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Tasting Notes

    • The 2008 Estate Chardonnay displays honey and Golden Queen peach characters combined with a hint of hazelnut typical of this wine. The rich, silky texture and length of flavor are distinct characteristics that we expect to see from the Estate Chardonnay. Because of the ripeness of the vintage, the 2008 is undoubtedly delicious enough to drink now; however, experience with vintages such as this indicates that the wine will benefit from two to five years of bottle age.



  • Chardonnay, Estate, Kumeu – 2008 – 92 points, Wine Spectator Top 100 – Wine Spectator

    “A benchmark for New Zealand Chardonnay…This estate Chardonnay from choice parcels on the 99 acres Kumeu owns or maintains was fermented and aged 11 months in barrel…”

  • Chardonnay, Estate, Kumeu – 2008 – 92 points – Wine Spectator

    “A wonderful balance between crisp, steely notes of citrus, pear and green apple and complex flavor nuances on a smooth texture, with floral, lime peel and tobacco details. The finish just goes on and on.”

  • Chardonnay, Estate, Kumeu – 2008 – 91 points, Editors’ Choice – Wine Enthusiast

    “A blend of several vineyard parcels, Kumeu River’s Estate bottling is the best value in the winery’s impressive lineup of 2008 Chardonnays. It shows all of the toasty, leesy notes of the single-vineyard wines, medium body and a bright core of zesty pineapple fruit.”