Kumeu River Winery – some 25 years back known as San Marino winery – has excelled over this 25-year period as New Zealand’s highest profile Chardonnay producer, all achieved under the stewardship of eldest son Michael Brajkovich, MW.
Each year Kumeu River Chardonnays consistently achieve international recognition in the highest quarters – they have now been included seven times in Wine Spectator‘s ‘Top 100 wines in the World’. The seventh time was in fact last year’s inclusion of the 2008 Estate Chardonnay, which I was able to review alongside the 2007 vintage.
Wine Spectator placed the 2008 wine at Number 76 with 92 Points. How on earth did they do that? Perhaps I just have the audacity to say I actually preferred the 2007 vintage over the 2008.
2007 and 2008 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnays
Both Chardonnays, as with all Kumeu River Chardonnays, are 100% indigenous yeast fermented and 10% malolactic fermented, with them nearly a year in barrel before bottling. This is the recipe Michael has adhered to pretty much from when the Kumeu River label was launched.
The two respective vintages have a peachy aroma (nose) and are also on the taste quite peachy and nutty, but that’s where the similarity finishes.
The Winestate says that 2008 has all manner of edgy facets to it, more funky, more gravelly and more textural in the mouth. For me, the 2008 is lacking the beautiful balance displayed by the 2007 vintage.
The 2007 is certainly more clean with more straightforward – linear almost – fruit that is more acceptable on the palate. So for me, I would cellar the 2008 for several more years and drink the 2007 right away, which at RRP $25 is excellent value.
| John Ingle