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 key vineyards including this Mate’s 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.
Mate’s Vineyard is arguably the most complex of all the Single Vineyard Chardonnays by Kumeu River. While it is not as exuberant in youth as the Coddington Vineyard, there are so many different aromas and nuances here, it’s a pleasure to taste and re-taste the wine over an evening, noting how it changes in the glass. There is plenty of citrus character that you often find in great Chardonnay wines, with a plethora of spice, herb, stone fruit and toasted nut characters. As with the Hunting Hill, it would easily qualify as Premier Cru (at least), with its full flavour, huge complexity and very fresh natural acidity that provides balance and a long, mouthwatering finish. It is a big, rich, powerful and well-structured wine that can be drunk now with decanting. Or this wine will cellar with ease, between 6 and 9 years in half bottle. 13%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