Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay 2021
The 2021 vintage for Mate’s Vineyard continues an amazing run of vintages from this plot. A spring frost in October 2020 reduced the yield across all vineyards, however the rest of the growing season was excellent and the grapes harvested in in 2021 were ripe, rich and concentrated. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed, then underwent 100% malo-lactic fermentation and 100% barrel fermentation with only indigenous yeast. The resulting wine shows the density, concertation and length that we have come to expect from a terrific Mate’s Vineyard vintage.
"Amongst the very best Chardonnay producers in the world is Kumeu River in New Zealand. Their Chardonnays were put to the test a few years ago when several were assessed blind, intermixed with some very serious Puligny-Montrachets and Meursaults. Kumeu River triumphed to such an extent that it became almost embarrassing. And to think that you can buy an entire case of Kumeu River for the cost of a single bottle of some Grand Crus.
Kumeau Chardonnays are one of the best Burgundian style Chardonnays outside of France, and this Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay is no exception. The quality level is off the charts in a very unassuming package. Everything is lovingly executed from wild yeast fermentation to barrel selection. These wines can age just like 1er Cru & Grand Cru white Burgundy." -Neal Martin, Vinous
Lots of minerality with crushed stone, chalk, white grapefruit, peach stones, white apricots, wild herbs and lavender. Touch of cedar. Evolves to nutmeg and crushed almonds. Wow. It really builds on the palate, leading to a crescendo and intensity that blows your mind. Compact and phenolic, yet so agile and refined. Goes on for minutes. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
The 2021 Chardonnay Maté's Vineyard offers greater tension and sapidity compared with how the more relaxed 2020 did upon release. It will need time in bottle to shake off the rawness of youth. It is focused, concentrated and precise. There's sophisticated use of oak, which integrates seamlessly within the package. I got a cold the day after this was first opened, and almost a week later, when my senses returned, it remained impeccable, focused and compact.