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 2018 vintage
"Usually the most flamboyant wine when young, the 2018 Coddington has the typical ripe peach and rich nature on the nose. The palate is beautifully forward with a supple approachability that is common with the 2018 Chardonnays. The wine has density, concentration and luscious creaminess we expect from Coddington and while this makes the wine easy to drink at this early stage no doubt it will take on lovely bottle age as it has done with previous vintages."
4.5 Stars Michael Cooper (2017 vintage)
"This typically 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, it?s typically a lusher, softer wine than its Hunting Hill stablemate (below). The 2017 vintage (4.5*) was hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barriques and wood-matured for 11 months. Pale lemon/green, it is full-bodied, with fresh, ripe, citrusy, peachy flavours, a subtle seasoning of oak, balanced acidity and good vigour. A finely poised, youthful wine, it's worth cellaring to 2020+. ?"
94/100 Bob Campbell MW (2017 vintage)
"Elegant and concentrated chardonnay with brioche, citrus, white flower, and toasted nut flavours. A silken-textured wine that's long and linear. Accessible now but promises to develop well, at least in the mid-term. 27/8/2018."
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