Neal Martin: "You are left scratching your head as to why Kumeu River is not uttered in the same breath as Leflaive, Ramonet or Marcassin."
Kumeu chardonnays are arguably the finest in New Zealand and when served blind are often mistaken for white Burgundy - high praise indeed!
We tasted all of these here at the Seckford office and will certainly be buying for ourselves.
If Seckford are filling their baskets - you should too!
We have the following wines to offer:
(Pre-arrival Seckford Autumn 2021, all prices in-bond, limited quantities available)
Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2020
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2020
Kumeu River Rays Road Chardonnay 2020
Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay 2020
Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2020
Kumeu River Maté’s Chardonnay 2020
Please read on to find more information about each of the wines
Please Email to Place An Order
Village Chardonnay 2020
£96 IB / 12 x 75cl
87/100, Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous.com)
Drink 2021 - 2024
The 2020 Chardonnay Kumeu Village is the “entry” to New Zealand's most famous Chardonnay producer's range. It is clean and precise and focuses on pure fruit, offering flavors of nectarine, red grapefruit and white flowers. While some of the wine has been fermented in French oak, there is very little evidence of oak in terms of aroma and flavor, although the zesty style has had its corners rounded by barrel influence. A bright, crisp Chardonnay for enjoying in youth.
16.5/20 Jancis Robinson MW
Drink 2020 - 2022
Screwcapped bottle 1,310 g. Blend of hand-picked grapes from Kumeu and the Brajkovich family's new Rays Road vineyard in Hawke's Bay. Spontaneous fermentation after whole-bunch pressing. Aged on the lees. Surprisingly rich nose. Fine, appetising, crisp palate with just a little chewiness still evident at this point. There's a suggestion of sweet grapefruit juice. Really clean, fresh and long. VGV
Estate Chardonnay 2020
91/100 Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous.com)
Drink 2021 - 2027
There's a sense of calm to the 2020 Chardonnay Estate, a blend of six different sites. It is mellow, offering a plump cushion of Chardonnay goodness on the midpalate but not becoming heavy nor opulent, its youthful edge and fresh acidity tying it together into a precise finish. It offers classic subtle Chardonnay characters of Golden Delicious apple, white nectarine and a mere whiff of oak-derived smokiness. Well constructed, satisfying and elegant.
17/20 Jancis Robinson MW
Drink 2021 - 2025
Lightly but not excessively reductive on the nose. Already quite expansive on the nose with beautiful impact on the palate: citrus, blossom and really neat acidity without much astringency. Elegant and racy – almost lightweight on the mid palate and then it is impressively persistent. A thorough delight already. VGV
Rays Road Chardonnay 2020
£175 IB / 12 x 75cl
88/100 Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous.com)
Drink 2021 - 2025
In 2017, Kumeu River spread its wings to Hawke's Bay, purchasing Rays Road, a site on limestone at 180 meters in altitude. The 2020 Chardonnay Rays Road displays a fuller style, offering breadth and a smooth embrace. There are subtle aromatics – this is Chardonnay, after all – suggesting Golden Delicious apples meeting beeswax and shortbread, and modest concentration and length. The wine’s appeal is in its textural, mouth-coating finish.
17/20 Jancis Robinson MW
2021 - 2027
From a limestone, north-facing, dry-farmed hillside at 180 m. Spontaneous fermentation. Aged in old French oak. Neat and well integrated, quite restrained. And already very accessible though with light, fine tannins and quite opulent fruit on the front palate. Sprightly. Lemon-pastille flavour. Very long. Beautifully made.
Coddington Chardonnay 2020
93/100 Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous.com)
Drink 2022 - 2031
Another typically weighty expression from Kumeu's Coddington vineyard, the 2020 Chardonnay Coddington fills the midpalate with its density and breadth. It is a wine of clarity, the oak-derived smoky, nutty notes providing a savory layer over nectarine and lemon meringue. However, this is not a wine that needs multiple flavor descriptors; it's a wine of texture. Expect the smooth, mellow mouthfeel to be followed up with lovely precision and sinew on the lengthy, smoky finish.
16.5+/20 Jancis Robinson MW
Drink 2022 - 2028
Pale greenish straw colour. Broad, rather floral nose with some light chewiness on the end. Not quite ready yet. Hint of lemon peel on the finish. Not the most intense Kumeu Chardonnay but very 'pleasant' for now! It will surely bloom in bottle.
Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2020
95/100 Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous.com)
Drink 2023 - 2035
Possibly the most complete Hunting Hill Chardonnay I've tasted in youth, the 2020 provides a harmonious, melt-in-your-mouth impression. It has breadth and concentration but retains a sense of elegance on the midpalate before finishing with precision and length. Yes, there's a little bit of flint character too, but then Hunting Hill is known to be reductive; give it time. Like Forrest Gump, it runs through a finish line and keeps on going effortlessly. There's no box of chocolates here, though; it's all white nectarine, citrus, white flowers and a touch of smoked nuts.
17 ++/20 Jancis Robinson MW
Drink 2021 - 2028
Really nervy nose. Truly burgundian, if one is allowed to say this. Great fruit and great tension. Just the job and amazingly vibrant and persistent on the finish. You could drink this already but it will clearly last really well – though winemaker Michael Brajkovich is consistently cautious with his suggested drinking windows; 'will improve with bottle age for four to six years'. A hint of Puligny here.
Maté's Vineyard Chardonnay 2020
97/100 Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous.com)
Drink 2023 - 2035
The Chardonnay Mate's Vineyard, appears to have gone on a yoga retreat in 2020: not only is its usual powerful self, but it's remarkably zen too, exuding a sense of calmness. It is full-bodied, round and offers fruit ripeness, but the propensity of the Mendoza clone to hen-and-chicks means that it retains a sense of nerve, with powerful citrusy acidity providing the needle that pulls a tight thread through this wine's core. The 2020 is still far too young, and it is aromatically shy, but even in its full mature glory, it won't exhibit aromatic fireworks – nor should it. This is Chardonnay. Okay, you might detect lemon and limes, white flowers and just-ripe white nectarine, with 30% new oak imbuing an additional layer of savoriness, but when it comes down to it, this wine's trump card is in its shape, texture and persistence.
17.5/20 Jancis Robinson MW
2021 - 2028
Even for this wine, for which Michael Brajkovich predicts 'long-term bottle maturation', only four to six years are recommended! Note how much less potent it is than Hunting Hill. Pale gold. Quite an opulent nose. I must say the nose made me think involuntarily of some Corton-Charlemagnes. Really precise and mealy with perfect balance. You could already enjoy it but it will surely become even more complex in bottle. Long and satisfying, a wine designed to soothe sore throats. Quite a triumph; easy to see why it's the most expensive in this range.