The Brajkovich family have been making world-class wines on their estate in Kumeu River for over seventy years. Michael Brajkovich and family are based in an area just to the west of Auckland, New Zealand as well as owning vineyards in Hawke’s Bay, all on the North Island of New Zealand. They make single vineyard wines from each of their vineyards including this Coddington Vineyard Chardonnay, and also an estate blend from their six different sites. They have all regularly beaten top white Burgundy wines in recent blind tastings line-ups, and in our view thoroughly deserve their title as the best white wines in New Zealand.
Paul Brajkovich describes the Coddington Vineyard (owned by Tim and Angela Coddington, hence the name) as a ‘suntrap’. It faces North and is the warmest and sunniest of all their vineyards, with the ripest grapes. This is what led the family to bottle the wines as a ‘Single Vineyard’ wine rather than as part of one of their blended wines. The result is a beautifully ripe, balanced Chardonnay that is brimming with stone fruit, particularly peaches and apricots, hints of buttered toast and pressed limes. It’s the most expressive of their wines in youth, and despite its pristine freshness and good natural acidity, it has a decadent, peaches-and-cream palate that is impossible not to love! It’s great now but with plenty of structure behind the generous fruit, will keep for 4-5 years in half bottle easily. 13.5% ABV
Auckland is known for being the largest city in New Zealand, but there are longstanding vineyards on the lands close by, the most famous of which is Kumeu River. Well-known producer Villa Maria also has a winery in this area. While the climate is not always easy for grape growing, due to high humidity being surrounded by so much water; Kumeu River is widely accepted as making the finest white wines in New Zealand. The grapes for this wine were all hand-harvested and whole-bunch pressed, with wild yeasts performing the fermentation. The wine was fermented in French oak barrels and aged for a further 11 months in barrel prior to release.
See kumeuriver.co.nz for more