Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2018
Hunting Hill is a vineyard that was first planted in 1982 and became a significant part of the original Kumeu River Chardonnay blend. Occupying the slope overlooking Mate’s Vineyard, it has always contributed lovely ripe and rich fruit to the Estate Chardonnay. Hunting Hill was replanted in 2000 and is now even better than before, giving beautifully ripe fruit with a distinctive mealy minerality.
- Location: Hunting Hill, Kumeu, Auckland
- Cultivation: Sustainable
- Size: 3.37 hectares (8 acres)
- Vine Age: Planted 2000
- Clones: 15
- Soil: Clay loam
- Elevation: 100 meters (328 feet)
- Exposure: North facing but sloping slightly to Southwest
- Training: Lyre
- Yields: 2.7 tons/acre
- Brix: 23°
100% barrel fermentation
100% malolactic fermentation
11 months maturation in barrel
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
The Chardonnays from 2018 are supple and approachable and this makes the typically fragrant Hunting Hill very pretty, with its lemon/lime blossom aromas and hint of orange. The palate has a supple texture and lingering flavor which provides a long finish, and it has a salty, mineral tang on the end. As with previous vintages of Hunting Hill we expect this to drink well for 6 – 8 years.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill — 2018 – Wine Enthusiast – 90 Points
This vintage of Hunting Hill, from one of New Zealand's most renowned Chardonnay producers, is, like the “Maté,” currently very young and austere. After some time warming in the glass, soft but fairly ripe melon and tropical fruit, along with buttery, vanillin oak characters emerge. Once again, the palate is the star here: Laser-sharp acidity is tempered by a slippery texture and a zing of citrus fruit. But, while the winemaking is solid with nary a hair out of place, there's little in the way of character. It's likely going to take many years before that will show. Drink 2023–2030.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill — 2018 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points
Intense and mouthwatering, with a honeyed beeswax note that adds nuance to the pear, grapefruit and melon flavors on a sleek frame. Shows terrific clarity and focus. Crisp finish. Drink now through 2029. 860 cases made, 112 cases imported.
Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay
Almost always the most opulent of the Kumeu Chards, the 2018 Hunting Hill Chardonnay fits that description perfectly. Loaded with white peach, pineapple and even melon-like fruit, those notes are sculpted by faint suggestions of pencilly oak in a generous but focused package. It's medium to full-bodied, with a creamy mid-palate and a vibrant finish.
Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay – 2018 – James Suckling – 93 Points
This has plenty of rich, stone-fruit aromas with a fresh and quite crisp palate that has good focus and a sleek, gentle, pastry-like finish. Plenty to offer now, but is quite taut and linear. Drink or hold. Screw cap.