In 1938 Maté Brajkovich arrived in New Zealand with his parents, who settled in Kumeu and in 1944 bought a small vineyard which would later become Kumeu River wines. For a few decades Maté mostly made simple fortified and sparkling wines. It wasn't until 1982 however, when Matés son Michael took over, that the wines would really start to turn heads. Michael and his siblings began to transform the vineyard and vinification practices to more considered, traditional ways, with hand harvesting, improved drainage, judicious use of oak and only using the wild yeast present in the vineyard to bring a sharper definition of terroir into the wines. Matés vineyard is the original land bought in 1944, re-planted by Maté just before his death with low-yielding Mendoza clone Chardonnay in 1990.
What The Critics Say
96/100 Bob Campbell MW (2015 vintage)
“A rather more refined and tighter style than usual, with a hint of struck match adding complexity to citrus, green apple, white peach, spicy oak and nutty brioche flavours. Bone-dry and moderately austere chardonnay, with plenty of development potential.”
97/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim (2015 vintage)
"The wine offers immediacy as well as potential to develop spectacular complexity. This is generous and plush, and structured and poised at the same time, exhibiting yellow stone fruit, brioche, fresh cream, toasted hazelnut and nougat aromas on the nose, followed by an expansive palate that delivers layers of silky texture and waves of delicious flavours. At its best: 2018 to 2027. $70.00. www.kumeuriver.co.nz. Oct 2016."
94+/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (2015 vintage)
"The 2015 Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay is a cracking example of this vineyard/vintage, starting with a youthfully reticent nose of lemon curd, grapefruit juice and peach blossoms with hints of crushed stones, lime leaves and brioche. The medium-bodied palate is tightly wound with an electric backbone of freshness supporting the intense citrus and mineral flavors, finishing with great length. It needs another 3-4 years in bottle to really get into its groove."
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