This wine ranks fifth in the company's hierarchy of six Chardonnays, after four single-vineyard labels, but is still outstanding. Grown at Kumeu, in West Auckland, it is powerful, with rich, beautifully interwoven flavours and a seductively creamy texture, but also has good acid spine. The key to its quality lies in the vineyards, says winemaker Michael Brajkovich: 'We manage to get the grapes very ripe.' Grown in several blocks around Kumeu, hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts and lees-aged (with weekly or twice-weekly lees-stirring) in Burgundy oak barriques (typically 25 per cent new), the wine normally undergoes a full, softening malolactic fermentation. The youthful, savoury 2020 vintage (5*) is already highly enjoyable. Bright, light lemon/green, it is fragrant, mouthfilling and dry, with fresh acidity, finely integrated oak, and concentrated, peachy, citrusy, mealy, biscuity flavours, complex and lingering. Currently more expressive than the single-vineyard bottlings from 2020, it should be at its best 2024+.
Type: White Wines
Overall Rating for All Vintages Tasted: ★★★★★ – 5 Stars
Price: $38 NZD
Value for Money: AV
This wine is a Super Classic.
When to drink: 2024
Vintage: 2019; Winemaker’s Rating: 7/7; When to Drink: 21 – 27
Vintage: 2018; Winemaker’s Rating: 5/7; When to Drink: 20 – 26
Vintage: 2017; Winemaker’s Rating: 6/7; When to Drink: 20 – 22
Vintage: 2016; Winemaker’s Rating: 6/7; When to Drink: 20 – 21
Vintage: 2015; Winemaker’s Rating: 7/7; When to Drink: P – P
Vintage: 2014; Winemaker’s Rating: 7/7; When to Drink: P – P
Vintage: 2013; Winemaker’s Rating: 7/7; When to Drink: P – P
Notes: WR provided by wineries. P = Peaked.
Reviewed July 2022