Chardonnay, Rays Road, Hawkes Bay — 2020
Rays Road is Kumeu River’s new vineyard site in Hawkes Bay. This limestone hillside is at 180 meters altitude, with a northerly aspect. It is dry-farmed to yield high quality grapes for wine under the Rays Road name for the Kumeu River label. This Chardonnay was hand-harvested, whole bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in older French Oak barrels to give a wine that is zesty and fragrant, with mineral complexity that is very true to its site.
- Location: Hawkes Bay, North Island
- Cultivation: Sustainable
- Size: 19 acred
- Clones: 95, 15, 548
- Soil: Limestone
- Elevation: 180 meters
- Training: VSP 2.2m x 1.5m
- Brix: 21.5°
100% barrel fermentation
100% malolactic fermentation
11 months maturation in barrel
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
With the 2020 vintage Rays Road produced the best fruit we have seen yet from this unique site. With new clonal plantings of Chardonnay in their first year of production, we were able to blend some extra ripeness and richness with the fresh limestone vibrancy of the existing vines. The result is an exciting Rays Road Chardonnay showing white flowers and lemon on the nose, with vibrant acidity and tingly oyster-shell minerality on the palate. This wine is a terrific addition to the Kumeu River range and we are expecting the quality from this site to get even better.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Rays Road, Hawkes Bay — 2020 – James Suckling – 95 Points
This is a fuller style from Hawke’s Bay and quite different from the rest of the Kumeu range of chardonnays. Bold, ripe peaches dominate the nose and palate. The texture is impressively silky and smooth. Very fleshy and complete. Impressive.