2020 Kumeu River Rays Road HB Chardonnay

95 Points Bob Campbell MW
In stock
A new release of Auckland's Kumeu River sourced from a single vineyard in Hawkes Bay. With an elevated and northern aspect on limestone soils, the Rays Road vineyard produces a weighty but notably fine and expressive example from this most famous of Chardonnay regions, and most famous of Chardonnay producers. A sure bet on quality and interest, the Rays Road is a must-try for Kumeu fans.
$39.99 in mixed 6+ or $44.99 per bottle



Its Origins

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

95/100 Bob Campbell MW

"Gently aromatic chardonnay with butterscotch, grapefruit marmalade, peach and oyster-shell supported by fruity acidity. Impressive wine from a top vintage. Accessible now but with the potential to evolve further in the next few years. 01 JUL 2021" Drink 2021 - 2026

95/100 James Suckling

"This is a fuller style from Hawke’s Bay and quite different from the rest of the Kumeu range of chardonnays. Bold, ripe peaches dominate the nose and palate. The texture is impressively silky and smooth. Very fleshy and complete. Impressive. Drink or hold. Screw cap."

93/100 Thomas Parker MW

"Kumeu River purchased this Hawkes Bay site in 2017 (which had been planted in 2008 by Trinity Hill) and are continually learning from the different terroir here. The limestone hillside sits at 180m altitude and is dry farmed (i.e. without irrigation). As with all Kumeu's top wines the fruit is hand harvested and whole bunch pressed before fermentation and maturation in barrel at Kumeu - with only a touch of new oak. New clonal plantings are in the blend for the first time in 2020, adding a component that makes this easily the best Rays Road we have tasted to date. Bright, pale yellow colour in the glass. This has a fresh, cool vibrancy on the nose but this year there is a little more richness and ripeness of fruit, bringing a lightly peachy character against a fresh citrus core. The palate follows, with real salinity and a cool note of green fruit before creamy pears and a hint of something riper come through. Silky and fine, this is long and subtle, all about the chalky, textural depth it possesses."

Variety Chardonnay
Closure Cap
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 13.50%
Maturity 2021 - 2026

This Wine Goes Well With




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