Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2020
In 1990, Maté Brajkovich reworked the land at Kumeu River and planted a new vineyard of Chardonnay on the site of the family’s original vineyard, purchased in 1944. The first harvest from these new vines was in March 1993, the year following Maté’s death. The vineyard was named Maté’s Vineyard in his honor, and the resulting single-vineyard wine was first released in November 1994 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Brajkovich family’s arrival in Kumeu.
- Location: Kumeu, Auckland
- Cultivation: Sustainable
- Size: 2.49 hectares (6 acres)
- Vine Age: Planted 1990
- Clones: Mendoza
- Soil: Clay loam
- Elevation: 45 meters (147 feet)
- Exposure: North facing
- Training: Lyre
- Yields: 3.5 tons/acre
- Brix: 21.5°
French oak barrels, 30% new oak
100% barrel fermentation
100% malolactic fermentation
11 months maturation in barrel
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
The 2020 vintage for Mate’s Vineyard was truly remarkable. We have seen some fine wines from this vineyard in the last 30 years but 2020 is the pinnacle of what we have achieved so far. Mate’s Vineyard is always the last site we pick each year. In 2020 the grapes certainly had the distinctive Mendoza millerandage, giving many small berries along with the normal sized ones, and as a result a wonderfully concentrated palate texture and fruit richness. Although still somewhat shy on the nose, with bottle age the full palette of complex aromas and bouquet of this wonderful wine will be gradually and seductively revealed.
Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu — 2020 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points
“Rich, showing appealing ripeness to the Fuji apple, white peach, lemon curd and spice flavors, with firm acidity and elegant details of candied ginger peel on the finish.”
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2020 – James Suckling – 100 Points
This is such impressive chardonnay in terms of power and complexity, delivering so much with such poise. Aromas of lemons and peaches intersect with lightly spicy oak and brioche on the nose. The palate drops mouth-filling flavors of peach and lemon and winds tight, before exploding long on the finish with a long, nutty afterglow. Perfect chardonnay.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2020 – Vinous – 97 Points
This appears to have gone on a yoga retreat in 2020: not only is its usual powerful self, but it's remarkably zen too, exuding a sense of calmness. It is full-bodied, round and offers fruit ripeness, but the propensity of the Mendoza clone to hen-and-chicks means that it retains a sense of nerve, with powerful citrusy acidity providing the needle that pulls a tight thread through this wine's core. The 2020 is still far too young, and it is aromatically shy, but even in its full mature glory, it won't exhibit aromatic fireworks – nor should it. This is Chardonnay...
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu — 2020 – Jancis Robinson – 17.5 Points
Pale gold. Quite an opulent nose. I must say the nose made me think involuntarily of some Corton-Charlemagnes. Really precise and mealy with perfect balance. You could already enjoy it but it will surely become even more complex in bottle. Long and satisfying, a wine designed to soothe sore throats. Quite a triumph; easy to see why it's the most expensive in this range.