Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2019
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 2001
- Clones: 15
- Soil: Clay loam
- Elevation: 100 meters (328 feet)
- Exposure: North facing but sloping slightly to Southwest
- Training: Lyre
- Yields: 2.7 tonne/acre
- Brix: 22.5°
French oak barrels, 25% new oak
100% barrel fermentation
100% malolactic fermentation
11 months maturation in barrel
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
The 2019 vintage was exceptional and produced sensational Chardonnay across all vineyards. Hunting Hill is very distinctive in its terroir typicity, with piercing lemon/lime fruit lift and florality on the nose, richness and volume in the mouth followed by lingering acidity and minerality on the finish. This is an absolute classic example of how great the Chardonnay grape can be: A beautifully powerful, yet elegant and complex wine with long term aging ability.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2019 – Wine Enthusiast – 93 Points
This wine opens with delicate melon, peach and citrus notes, backed by honeysuckle and fresh oats. The palate shows the restraint and poise for which this label is known. It crackles with acidity and a talc-like texture, the pure fruit backed by brioche oak characteristics. Harmonious, varietal and expressive of place, this is a polished bottling for drinking now.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2019 – The Wine Advocate – 95 Points
The peach-inflected, medium to full-bodied, the mouthfeel is welcoming and silky, the flavors ranging from yellow peach and grilled pineapple to toasted hazelnuts and even a touch of honey, balanced on the lengthy finish by bright citrus notes.”
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2019 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points
Butterscotch, sweet cream and lemon meringue details are succulent and pure, with hints of nutmeg, tangerine, peach and citrus notes that are harmonious and juicy on the finish.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2019 – Vinous – 95 Points
This wine manages to walk the tightrope of richness and finesse, and it does it with swagger. It's no surprise that this powerful, highly concentrated Chardonnay was fermented in new oak barrels after a hiatus in 2018 – it certainly has the stuffing to take it. Hunting Hill is Kumeu's most reductive Chardonnay but its influence remains subtle, bringing the merest flint note and added tension to the nectarine and lemon peel flavors. Poised and well judged.