Wine Advocate 92 points - Tasted blind at Farr Vintners Kumeu/White Burgundy tasting. The 2010 Coddington Chardonnay from Kumeu River has an open and expressive bouquet with lemon peel and flint scents, a little conservative perhaps but nicely focused. The palate is well balanced with a pleasing, lime and nettle-driven opening. There is a herbaceous undertow here, gently building to a lightly spiced middle with a tang of white pepper on the delightful and persistent finish. ””Bon vin,”” as they say in Auckland. (May 2015)
Established in 1944, this benchmark estate has produced wines of elegance and finesse for over half a century. Founded by Mick Brajkovich, his wife Kate and son Mate, this 74 acre property is located in Kumeu, a subregion of the Auckland wine district on New Zealand’s North Island. The winery is currently managed by Mate’s wife, Melba and their children, Marijana, Michael, Milan and Paul. Marijana manages the financial and accounting side of the business, Milan oversees vineyard management and viticulture, Paul runs sales and marketing and Michael is the winemaker. Although the winery is situated well north of New Zealand’s other viticultural regions, its proximity to the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean ensures a moderate, maritime microclimate. The clay and underlying sandstone base soils of the area have superior water retention qualities, thereby eliminating the need for irrigation. All vines are grown in a sustainable manner and to take advantage of the long growing season are trained on a “Lyre” trellis. During harvest, the grapes are picked by hand and sorted in the vineyard. Michael was New Zealand’s first Master of Wine and 2012 marks his 31st consecutive vintage with Kumeu River. Not content to rest on his laurels, this humble winemaker perpetually searches for ways to improve his wines. Through trial and error, he has developed a regimen that includes whole cluster pressing, minimal use of new oak, wild yeast fermentation, completion of malolactic fermentation and extended barrel aging sur lie. Kumeu River was also the first winery in New Zealand to bottle exclusively in screw cap closures. The family’s hard work and commitment to the Brajkovich legacy has been duly recognized – their Chardonnays are considered amongst the best in the world and they have been consistently named in the Top 100 Wines of the world by Wine Spectator. Kumeu River wines balance wonderful raciness with great concentration and structure – a characteristic that has become the hallmark of this emblematic estate.
|Kumeu River Wines was established in 1944 in the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km northwest of Auckland.
At Kumeu River Wines, the winemaking philosophy is simple. We endeavour to grow grapes of the highest standard and then treat them with respect when we turn them into wine. In this way the potential quality is maximised, and we are able to produce wines that are truly representative of our land.
To this end, yields are kept low to improve the concentration of aromas and flavours in the grapes, and we harvest all of our grapes by hand. The white grapes are all whole-bunch pressed, which is time-consuming but gives us the best quality results. The reds are destemmed and crushed gently before being transferred to fermentation tanks. No yeasts are added.
Oak barrels from France play a significant, but never dominant, role in our wines. The white wines undergo fermentation in barrels, and the flavour nuances that are derived from this phase are crucial to these fine wine styles. The red wines are fermented for a prolonged period in stainless steel tanks, but they are also later matured in oak barrels to promote the development of bouquet and to soften the tannin structure of the palate. These are wines of great flavour intensity and complexity, but also with subtlety and elegance, and the potential to develop with further age.
We promote the malo-lactic fermentation in both our red and white wines. This bacterial transformation reduces and softens the acidity, and rounds out and complexes the flavour.
The Brajkovich Family is committed to ensuring that all Kumeu River wines are not only properly and correctly produced, but also possess characters of aroma and flavour that give our customers a great deal of drinking pleasure.