Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2020
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: 3.0 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
We thought the 2019 vintage was exceptional but the Hunting Hill in 2020 is even better. 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 Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2020 – James Suckling – 96 Points
A complex chardonnay with yellow citrus, as well as lemon-curd and creamy tones. Light hazelnut, too. The palate has such all-encompassing, fresh peachy flavors and builds impressively through the long, full finish.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2020 – Vinous – 95 Points
Possibly the most complete Hunting Hill Chardonnay I've tasted in youth, the 2020 provides a harmonious, melt-in-your-mouth impression. It has breadth and concentration but retains a sense of elegance on the midpalate before finishing with precision and length. Yes, there's a little bit of flint character too, but then Hunting Hill is known to be reductive; give it time. Like Forrest Gump, it runs through a finish line and keeps on going effortlessly. There's no box of chocolates here, though; it's all white nectarine, citrus, white flowers and a touch of smoked nuts.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2020 – Jancis Robinson – 17++ Points
Really nervy nose. Truly burgundian, if one is allowed to say this. Great fruit and great tension. Just the job and amazingly vibrant and persistent on the finish. You could drink this already but it will clearly last really well – though winemaker Michael Brajkovich is consistently cautious with his suggested drinking windows; 'will improve with bottle age for four to six years'. A hint of Puligny here.