Kumeu River

Kumeu, New Zealand

Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2008

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Overlooking Maté’s Vineyard, Hunting Hill is named after the hillside farmland where Maté used to hunt rabbits and pheasants for the home kitchen. It was the site of the first vines to produce Kumeu River Chardonnay in the mid-1980s, and has always contributed lovely ripe, rich fruit to the Estate Chardonnay. After being replanted in 2000, Hunting Hill shows beautifully ripe fruit with a distinctive minerality.

    • 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

    • The 2008 vintage was warm and dry and produced ripe, luscious Chardonnay across all of the Kumeu River vineyards. Accordingly, the 2008 Hunting Hill is a little riper and more forward than usual.

  • Vinification

    • Whole-bunch pressed

    • Fermentation: Indigenous yeast
    • Malolactic: 100%
    • Barrel Fermentation: 100%
    • Barrel Aging: 11 months in French oak
  • Technical Information

    • Cases Imported: 300
    • Imported Case Pack: 12/750ml
    • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Tasting Notes

    • This wine shares some of the characters with the neighbouring Mate’s Vineyard with its attractive floral notes and restrained elegance. The 2008 vintage has a particularly delightful aroma of limes and white flowers, and is reminiscent of the “gloriously pure Puligny” description that Jancis Robinson gave to 1989 Kumeu River Chardonnay. The texture is beautifully silky and dances across the palate to a deliciously long and fine finish. This wine will improve with bottle age for four to six years.



  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2008

    This wine displays attractive floral notes, restrained elegance and a silky texture. Delightful aromas of lime and white flowers are reminiscent of the “gloriously pure Puligny” description that Jancis Robinson gave our 1989 Kumeu River Chardonnay.

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2008 – 92 points – Wine Spectator

    “Toasty chestnut flavors emphasize the rich, round notes of lemon, nectarine and ripe pear, with a crushed stone minerality that shines through, especially on the finish. Extremely smooth and graceful.”

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2008 – 91 points – Wine Enthusiast

    “Full-bodied and lush, the Hickory Hill is the most ebullient of the 2008s from Kumeu River, laced with oak and lees embellishments of toasted almonds, vanilla and hickory smoke yet balanced by rounded, melony fruit. It finishes long and citrusy, suggesting it may evolve positively for at least a few years.”