Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay 2020
The 2020 vintage for Mate’s Vineyard was truly remarkable. We have seen some fine wines from this vineyard in the last 30 years but 2020 is the pinnacle of what we have achieved so far. Mate’s Vineyard is always the last site we pick each year. In 2020 the grapes certainly had the distinctive Mendoza millerandage, giving many small berries along with the normal sized ones, and as a result a wonderfully concentrated palate texture and fruit richness. Although still somewhat shy on the nose, with bottle age the full palette of complex aromas and bouquet of this wonderful wine will be gradually and seductively revealed. Aged in French oak barrels, 30% new oak.
"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
This is such impressive chardonnay in terms of power and complexity, delivering so much with such poise. Aromas of lemons and peaches intersect with lightly spicy oak and brioche on the nose. The palate drops mouth-filling flavors of peach and lemon and winds tight, before exploding long on the finish with a long, nutty afterglow. Perfect chardonnay.
This 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...