Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2019
Hunting Hill is a vineyard that was first planted in 1982 and became a significant part of the original Kumeu River Chardonnay blend. Occupying the slope overlooking Mate’s Vineyard, it has always contributed lovely ripe and rich fruit to the Estate Chardonnay. Hunting Hill was replanted in 2000 and is now even better than before, giving beautifully ripe fruit with a distinctive mealy minerality.
- Location: Hunting Hill, Kumeu, Auckland
- Cultivation: Sustainable
- Size: 3.37 hectares (8 acres)
- Vine Age: Planted 2001
- Clones: 15
- Soil: Clay loam
- Elevation: 100 meters (328 feet)
- Exposure: North facing but sloping slightly to Southwest
- Training: Lyre
- Yields: 2.7 tonne/acre
- Brix: 22.5°
French oak barrels, 25% new oak
100% barrel fermentation
100% malolactic fermentation
11 months maturation in barrel
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
The 2019 vintage was exceptional and produced sensational Chardonnay across all vineyards. Hunting Hill is very distinctive in its terroir typicity, with piercing lemon/lime fruit lift and florality on the nose, richness and volume in the mouth followed by lingering acidity and minerality on the finish. This is an absolute classic example of how great the Chardonnay grape can be: A beautifully powerful, yet elegant and complex wine with long term aging ability.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2019 – Wine Spectator – 93 Points
Butterscotch, sweet cream and lemon meringue details are succulent and pure, with hints of nutmeg, tangerine, peach and citrus notes that are harmonious and juicy on the finish.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu — 2019 – Vinous – 95 Points
This wine manages to walk the tightrope of richness and finesse, and it does it with swagger. It's no surprise that this powerful, highly concentrated Chardonnay was fermented in new oak barrels after a hiatus in 2018 – it certainly has the stuffing to take it. Hunting Hill is Kumeu's most reductive Chardonnay but its influence remains subtle, bringing the merest flint note and added tension to the nectarine and lemon peel flavors. Poised and well judged.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2019 – James Suckling – 94 Points
This has attractively creamy aromas with white peach and vanilla, as well as sliced mango and honey. The palate serves up fleshy and mouth-filling peach and mango flavors that wrap together so well on the finish. Love the fruit purity here. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu – 2019 – Jancis Robinson – 17.5 Points
High-toned, tight and very sophisticated. The sort of wine that demands comparison with fine white burgundy. Real integrity and depth. Dry (not sweet) and with light grip on the palate. You could drink this now but you shouldn't; it will so clearly improve, deepen in flavour while retaining its admirable structure and vitality. Much more 'mineral' than the Coddington. Real tingle here. I'm sure Michael Brajkovich won't thank me for the comparison but it does rather remind me in structure of one of Rafael Palacios's finest Valdeorras single-vineyard bottlings. (And those are the wines that rem