A “Grand Cru” From New Zealand

Vivian Liang | March 4, 2021

Kumeu River 2018 Vintage

Owned by the Brajkovich family, Kumeu River has a rich history, starting with Maté Brajkovich. A Croatian by birth, his family moved to New Zealand in 1938 and his parents planted their first vineyard in 1944 – there Kumeu River was born. Initially making sweet and port wines that were the fashion of the day, it was not until his son Michael took over the winemaking, in 1982, that the true potential of the vineyards and its marriage with Chardonnay was realized. Today their Chardonnays are considered to be not just New Zealand’s finest, but a match for the very best Burgundy has to offer.

This great estate is still very much a family business, with Paul’s mother Melba and siblings Michael, Milan and Marijana actively involved. Their wines can be enjoyed young, but age so incredibly well. Each Chardonnay is very distinct in style with the flagship Mate’s vineyard the richest and almost Meursault in style, whilst the Hunting Hill Vineyard possesses a linear, more mineral and steely character. The Coddington vineyard is probably the most expressive one when young, showing lovely ripe peach aromas and a complex finish.

In 2018, the estate has an exciting addition in their portfolio: Rays Road, from a vineyard in NZ’s infamous Hawkes Bay. The vineyard is dry farmed. Grapes are hand-harvested, pressed in whole bunches and fermented with wild yeast in old French oak barrels. Meticulous handling produces a high quality wine that is zesty and fragrant with a delicate nose and mineral palate. This wine is drinking great now, but will evolve well in the bottle for 5-7 years.

I invite you to explore our Kumeu River 2018 range below.