Kumeu River

Kumeu, New Zealand

Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2011

download facts sheet Download tasting notes where to buy
  • 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

    • 2011 was a challenging vintage with cooler-than-usual conditions leading up to harvest. The grapes struggled to attain high sugar levels, but a very moderate cropping level still allowed the development of ripe-fruit aroma and flavor intensity. Following near-perfect conditions in 2010, Kumeu River had to work harder in 2011 in the vineyards due to pockets of botrytis. This vintage really showed the value of hand-harvesting and strict field triage because the fruit arriving at the winery was in perfect condition.

  • Vinification

    • Whole-bunch pressed

    • Fermentation: Indigenous yeast
    • Malolactic: 100%
    • Barrel Fermentation: 100%
    • Barrel Aging: Aged 11 months in 25% new, 75% 1-5-year- old 225-liter/60-gallon French oak
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Production (in cases): 1,000 cases
    • Production Case Pack: 12/750ml
  • Tasting Notes

    • The 2011 Hunting Hill is beautifully fragrant with its lemon/lime blossom characters and lovely fruit purity. This wine shares some of the characters with the neighboring Mate’s Vineyard with its attractive floral notes and restrained elegance. The Hunting Hill vineyard has a particularly pure character that, in its youth, displays a tight and crisp palate which needs some bottle age to reveal the power and concentration that lies beneath the surface.



  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2011 – 93 points, Editors’ Choice – Wine Enthusiast

    “The 2011 Hunting Hill is an immediately seductive Chardonnay. Toasted nuts, grilled white peaches and hints of pineapple all come together on a sumptuous midpalate, then finish bright, citrusy and long.”

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2011 – 7 worldly wines to drink with Thanksgiving leftovers – Miami Herald

    “…by descendants of some of the country’s original Croatian settlers, (this chardonnay) enjoys wild yeast and barrel fermentation…It will fool you into thinking it actually is Burgundian…Meursault, perhaps, or Puligny-Montrachet.”

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2011 – 96 points – jamessuckling.com

    “…immense verve and energy, offering intense grapefruit citrus and nectarine, with some flint and stony, chalky notes. The palate is taut and full of excitement and tension. Terrific acidity drives concentrated fruit flavor along.”

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2011 – 91(+?) points – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

    “Very rich and concentrated, with harmonious acidity giving the palate an impression of intensity without weight…flavors of citrus peel, peach and brown spices suggest that this one will unfold beautifully over the next six to eight years.”