Kumeu River

Kumeu, New Zealand

Chardonnay, Village, Kumeu — 2021

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • County Composition: Kumeu, Auckland & Hawkes Bay
    • Size: 14 hectares
    • Vine Age: Vines planted between 1989-2016
  • 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. Similarly at our Rays Road vineyard in Hawkes Bay there were frost events, but thankfully damage was minimal. 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 March 9th, about 3 weeks ahead of usual. In Kumeu the frost damage had lowered yields by 30-40%, but the overall quality was exceptional. In Hawkes Bay, our Rays Road vineyard also performed admirably, with the grapes ripening a few days later than our Kumeu vineyards.

  • Vinification

    • 100% hand harvested

      100% whole-bunch pressed

      Indigenous-yeast fermentation

      100% malolactic fermentation

      61% stainless steel tank fermentation

      39% barrel fermentation (5 year old + French oak barriques)

  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
    • Alcohol: 13%
  • Tasting Notes

    • Produced from grapes grown in Kumeu and Hawkes Bay this wine undergoes partial barrel fermentation which provides some richness but very little oak in influence. Combined with the tank fermentation, this allows the vibrant fruit to show through beautifully with lively lime and lemon aromas and a flinty, mineral edginess with hints of fig and white peach. Due to a spring frost, we had a very small yield in Kumeu so Hawkes Bay fruit made up 57% of the final blend. This includes some fruit from our own Rays Road vineyard which gives the wine an extra limestone edginess. The weighty mid-palate shows peachy ripeness along with crisp acid minerality that gives the wine a refreshing cleansing quality. This wine is delightful as an aperitif, and even better to drink with fish and shellfish.