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
Winemaker notes on current 2017 vintage
"Usually the most flamboyant wine when young, the 2017 Coddington has a beautiful nose more fragrant and citrusy than usual for Coddington. This is a common thread through all the 2017 Chardonnays. The palate is classic Coddington with the density, concentration and luscious creaminess we expect from this wine. Deceptively easy to drink at this early stage this wine will no doubt take on lovely bottle age as it has done with previous vintages."
96/100 Bob Campbell MW (2016 vintage)
Ripe, quite lush chardonnay with stone fruit, peach, apricot and nectarine flavours, with citrus and a seasoning of hazelnut and ginger characters. A very attractive wine with an impeccable balance and a lingering finish
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2016 vintage)
"Launched from the 2006 vintage, this powerful, rich wine is grown in the Coddington Vineyard, between Huapai and Waimauku. The grapes, cultivated on a clay hillside, achieve an advanced level of ripeness (described by Kumeu River as flamboyant, unctuous, peachy). Mouthfilling, complex and slightly nutty, its typically a lusher, softer wine than its Hunting Hill stablemate (below). The 2016 vintage (5*) was hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barriques and wood-matured for 11 months. Bright, light lemon/green, it is still very youthful, with a complex bouquet and fresh, tightly structured palate. Full-bodied, it's a classy wine with deep, vibrant, grapefruit-like flavours, showing excellent complexity, fresh acidity and a long, finely poised finish. Best drinking 2019+."
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