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18/20 points - Matthew Jukes
The winter of 2020 was relatively mild and dry. Spring came early again, abut this time there were frosts to contend with in late September, one in particular causing damage to many of Kumeu vineyards. Similarly at the Rays Road vineyard in Hawkes Bay there were frost events, but the wind machine that were installed recently did the job and damage was minimal. Flowering took place well ahead of normal, and it was obvious to the wine makers that the season would be very early in 2021. History will see 2021 sitting very nicely in the trio of outstanding vintages: ‘19, ‘20 and ’21.
In Hawkes Bay our Rays Road vineyard also performed admirably, with the grapes ripening a few days later than our Kumeu vineyards. At nearly 200m altitude, the conditions are cooler than most of Hawkes Bay, and favour early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wines are particularly exciting and edgy, coming from low-yielding rootstocks and clones that have given some excellent aromas and minerality, and a great insight to the future direction of this site.
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.
Kumeu River Wines is the property of the Brajkovich family, who focus solely on producing world-class Chardonnay from their 30 hectares of vineyards near Auckland.
When they started out in 1944, the Brajkoviches were among the pioneers of the New Zealand wine industry, and they have......
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