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
"If colour tells a story, then this is one of depth and character. Appealing floral notes give nuance to the attractive red fruit so abundant on the nose. Blackcurrant leads an ensembe cast of spices and herbs that act as a perfect foil to this wine's mesmerizing display of fruit."
96/100 Bob Campbell MW (2016 vintage)
“Quite a concentrated chardonnay with lime, citrus, hazelnut, bran biscuit and a suggestion of tropical fruits, mango and pineapple. A weighty wine with impressive length and complexity. Good now but will obviously respond well to bottle-age ”
19+/20 Raymond Chan (2016 vintage)
"Brilliant straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is a little restrained in expression but with softly full and voluminous, well-packed aromas of ripe white and yellow stonefruits, nectarines peaches and citrus fruit harmoniously entwined with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak, with soft, chalky mineral detail. This has elegance and completeness. Medium-full bodied, the palate is stylishly rich with balanced and harmoniously entwined flavours of white stonefruits with peach and citrus notes. The flavours are rich and detailed with soft creamy and nutty oak elements, and balanced by fine, lacy acidity. The wine flows effortlessly along a very fine line, leading to a soft, near-ethereal, lingering finish. This is a beautifully harmonious and complete Chardonnay with white stonefruit, peach and citrus fruit flavours along with creamy, nutty oak, and fine acidity. Serve with poultry, pork and veal dishes over the next 6+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Mate’s Vineyard’, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 30% new oak with 100% MLF. 19.0+/20 "
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