White Wine of the Week: Kumeu River is unquestionably one of the finest Chardonnay producers in the Southern Hemisphere and without a doubt the best Chardonnay producer in New Zealand. For lovers of European/Burgundy styled Chardonnays, this offers unbeatable complexity and nuance at an incredible price.
“If you have never tried these wines, it is time to see what New Zealand is capable of.” – Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
“Kumeu River makes the best, most long lived Chardonnays in New Zealand.” – Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator
Strong words from two very influential guys who taste and rate wine for a living, and I couldn’t agree more with them. Sure, you can find this wine pretty easily online, but not in this vintage. And trust me, Kumeu River’s Chardonnays dramatically improve, broaden, and gain complexity with age. This one is close to peak form, and it’s showing many of the traits and characteristics of White Burgundies I taste that cost at least twice the price.
Even better, I’m pleased to offer the 2009 Kumeu River Village Chardonnay at $22.99 by the bottle, $20.69 in 6-packs, and $19.54 by the case. Regular price here is $22.99/bottle, and I guarantee you any Burgundy lover would find that price very reasonable.
The Brajkovich family are the masterminds behind the estate, and they are recognized as one of the “first families” of New Zealand wine. With over 75 years of experience refining their methods and improving their wines, this family run, Auckland-based winery is today one of New Zealand’s finest estates. Yeah, they make a good Sauvignon Blanc too, but Chardonnay is their specialty.
Kumeu River makes five different and this is their “entry level” version, but it doesn’t behave like any entry level wine I’ve ever tasted. Hand harvested and sorted, and whole cluster pressed and fermented in a mix of stainless steel and older French oak, the wine underwent 100% malolactic fermentation to soften its edges.
All of this wine geek “technical talk” basically means that this is an artisanal wine crafted with much attention to detail.
That details shows in the finished wine! Ben and I popped a bottle after work last week and immediately freaked out at how good it was. The nose smells like $40+ White Burgundy — pear, spiced apple, lemon curd, flint, hazelnut, mineral………..shall I go on? The palate shows similar complexity and a vibrancy and vitality that suggests this wine will continue to offer pleasure for at least another 2 to 3 years.
Sounds good huh? The only negative to this pretty story is that we only have 48 bottles to sell. When those are gone, it will be at least a couple of months before the new vintage of this wine will arrive. We know it will be good too, but it won’t be as good as the 2009 is right now.
To order, reply to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (828) 505-8588.