Kumeu River

Kumeu, New Zealand

Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2021

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  • Introduction

    • 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 2001 and is now even better than before, giving beautifully ripe fruit with a distinctive mealy minerality

  • Vineyard Profile

    • 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
  • Vintage Report

    • The winter of 2020 was relatively mild and dry. Spring came early, but there were frosts to contend with, one in particular causing damage to many of our Kumeu vineyards. Flowering took place well ahead of normal, and it was obvious that the season would be very early this year. The growing season rainfall was only sporadic, maintaining the dry conditions, and the temperatures were moderately warm. These relatively cool to warm, and dry conditions allowed for slow grape maturation, and the development of excellent fruit aromas and flavors. Harvest was completed by 9 March, about 3 weeks ahead of usual. In Kumeu the frost damage had lowered yields by 30-40%, but the overall quality was exceptional.

  • Vinification

    • Hand harvested

      Whole-bunch pressed

      Indigenous-yeast fermentation

      French oak barrels, 25% new oak

      100% barrel fermentation

      100% malolactic fermentation

      11 months maturation in barrel

  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 14%
  • Tasting Notes

    • 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.



  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2021 – Wine Enthusiast – 95 Points

    “A lift of white peach, lemon curd and floral notes are dappled with flinty minerality and toast. There's richness to the palate, but the fruit is vibrant, buoyed by crystalline acidity, and gently supported by toasty oak. A class act with at least another decade of cellaring ahead of it.”

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2021 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points

    “Shows a sleek frame, with fresh pear, lime and Fuji apple flavors leaping out of the glass. Offers wonderful purity and transparency, with a clear thread of minerality, lemon zest and orange blossoms, gaining momentum on the finish.”

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2021 – James Suckling – 96 Points

    “This has aromas of flint, toast, jasmine, dried pineapples, lemons and sea shells. Some cardamom and salted butter. Classy and driven, with a medium to full body and tight, sleek layers. Perfumed and bright. Everything in balance.”