Kumeu River

Kumeu, New Zealand

Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2010

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  • Vineyard Profile

    • Overlooking Maté’s Vineyard, Hunting Hill is named after the hillside farmland where Maté used to hunt rabbits and pheasants for the home kitchen. It was the site of the first vines to produce Kumeu River Chardonnay in the mid-1980s, and has always contributed lovely ripe, rich fruit to the Estate Chardonnay. After being replanted in 2000, Hunting Hill shows beautifully ripe fruit with a distinctive minerality.

    • Location: Kumeu is a sub-region of the Auckland wine district. Despite being situated well north of New Zealand’s other viticultural regions, Kumeu’s climate is kept cool due to its close proximity to the Tasman Sea, just 20 kilometers (nearly 12.5 miles) to the west, and the Pacific Ocean 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) to the east. These two large bodies of water generate clouds, keeping peak summer temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Vintage Report

    • A spring frost caused a significant loss of fruit, followed by an equally difficult flowering period leading to fewer berries per bunch. As a result, yields were only about 50 percent of normal. Very low rainfall throughout the growing season and lovely, warm ripening conditions towards the end led to a small but beautiful crop of Chardonnay.

  • Vinification

    • Whole-bunch pressed

    • Fermentation: Indigenous yeast
    • Malolactic: 100%
    • Barrel Fermentation: 100%
    • Barrel Aging: Aged 11 months in 25% new, 75% 1-5-year- old 225-liter/60-gallon French oak
  • Tasting Notes

    • This wine has fragrant lemon/lime blossom aromas on the nose that typify the lovely perfume that is always present in the Hunting Hill Chardonnay. This year the wine is more complex due to the low yield, but also because the vines are getting just a little bit older. Kumeu River also noticed this with Maté’s Vineyard in the 2000 vintage, which seemed to be a significant step-up in quality, certainly because the vintage was very good, but also because the vineyard clocked past 10 years of age. The palate is very intense and tightly focused with beautiful citrus and mineral notes. The winery thought the 2009 Hunting Hill was a special wine, but the 2010 is a distinct lift in quality and complexity.

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Reviews

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2010 – 91 points – Wine Enthusiast

    "The Hunting Hill is medium bodied and silky in texture, with hints of grilled pineapple and bold, assertive fruit flavors."

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2010 – 93 points – Wine Spectator

    "The lively acidity lends a fresh, crisp edge to the lime, pear and apricot notes, with lemon zest and spicy cedary details, showing a touch of sea salt minerality. This powerful version maintains an air of elegance, enhanced by a long finish."

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2010 – 90(+?)? – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

    “...nicely juicy and energetic too; a step up in intensity and mineral grip from the Coddington chardonnay. The slowly building finish is spicy, firm and dry, with a dusty stone element and sound acidity giving the wine excellent back-end lift.”

  • Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2010 – 94 points – eRobertParker.com

    “…reveals distinctive grapefruit, honeysuckle and chalk aromas with hints of mace, ginger and croissant plus a whiff of cedar. Medium to full-bodied, it is silky, rich and spicy in the mouth and ends with a long, toasty finish.”

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