2019 Kumeu River Chardonnay Hunting Hill
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale: $48.94 (was: $54.94)*
"New Zealand's most famous Chardonnay producer continues to set a benchmark for the rest of the country to emulate." - Vinous
“Amongst the very best Chardonnay producers in the world” (Vinous), Kumeu River's Chardonnays have earned near universal world wide praise, with Neal Martin putting them in the same class as Leflaive, Ramonet or Marcassin, while today’s ‘Hunting Hill’ has earned comparisons with Puligny Montrachet from the Wine Advocate. This powerful, structured Chardonnay is built to age, and the 97pt 2019 is another incredible wine from Kumeu River.
Kumeu River’s success with Chardonnay is in no small part thanks to their long track record, having been started in the 1940s by the late Maté Brajkovich. Maté’s two sons and widow Melba have ably shepherded this family run winery through many decades, and vertical tastings have confirmed the ageability of their Chardonnays. Winemaker Michael Brajkovich was New Zealand's first Master of Wine, and he has consistently set a very high bar for NZ white wines.
Those who are already familiar with Kumeu River’s benchmark Chards will know that Hunting Hill has been an incredible entry in their lineup for over a decade now, and the 2019 is a tremendous vintage that will not disappoint. Cheers!
97 points, Bob Campbell MW: "Taut, mouth-watering chardonnay in a rather Burgundian style, with a nice blend of fruit, oyster-shell, toast, spice and nutty oak flavours. Good weight and concentration. Accessible now but should respond well to a little bottle age."
95 points, Vinous: "This wine manages to walk the tightrope of richness and finesse, and it does it with swagger. It's no surprise that this powerful, highly concentrated Chardonnay was fermented in new oak barrels after a hiatus in 2018 – it certainly has the stuffing to take it. Hunting Hill is Kumeu's most reductive Chardonnay but its influence remains subtle, bringing the merest flint note and added tension to the nectarine and lemon peel flavors. Poised and well judged."
*Offer publication date January 28, 2021. Pricing and availability subject to change.