Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2013
In 1990, Maté Brajkovich reworked the land at Kumeu River and planted a new vineyard of Chardonnay on the site of the family’s original vineyard, purchased in 1944. The first harvest from these new vines was in March 1993, the year following Maté’s death. The vineyard was named Maté’s Vineyard in his honor, and the resulting single-vineyard wine was first released in November 1994 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Brajkovich family’s arrival in Kumeu.
- 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).
- Cultivation: Sustainable
- Size: 3.2 hectares (7.9 acres)
- Vine Age: Planted 1990
- Clones: Mendoza
- Soil: Clay loam
- Elevation: Approximately 100 meters (328 feet)
- Exposure: North
- Training: Lyre
- Fermentation: Indigenous yeast; 100% in barrel
- Malolactic: 100%
- Barrel Aging: 11 months
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
The Mate’s Vineyard is usually the most reserved and unyielding when young, and this is even more so with the 2013 vintage. The nose is very closed, just giving hints of the golden queen peach and mineral notes expected from Mate’s Vineyard. On the palate, however, the flavor is very concentrated and distinctly richer than the other 2013 wines, while still maintaining a perfect balance and freshness that sets this wine apart and makes it wonderful. This is a wine of immense concentration that will be very long-lived.
Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay – 2013 – James Suckling – 97 Points
Only just beginning to really open up, this is staggeringly concentrated, cool-climate chardonnay with great lemon and mineral freshness. The very long, powerful finish leaves you in no doubt of the world-class originality of this wine. Drink or hold
Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2013 – 94 points – WINEANORAK.COM
“White peach and pear fruit with a bit of spice and some smoky, mineral notes. Lovely textured palate has some white peach but also some subtle toastiness and some lemony freshness. Very pure and detailed with real finesse.”
Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2013 – 90 points – Wine Spectator
“Focused, offering intense pineapple accents to the melon and lime flavors, crunchy, mouthwatering acidity and herb highlights. Offers a firm finish, with cedary elements fanning out…”
Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2013 – 93 points – Vinous
“Pale, bright straw-yellow. Sexy clove and nutmeg notes lift aromas of nectarine … distinctly Burgundian in its aromatic profile. Lovely tactile stone fruit flavors are enlivened by harmonious acidity…"