Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2018
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, Auckland
- Cultivation: Sustainable
- Size: 2.49 hectares (6 acres)
- Vine Age: Planted 1990
- Clones: Mendoza
- Soil: Clay loam
- Elevation: 45 meters (147 feet)
- Exposure: North facing
- Training: Lyre
- Yields: 4.0 tons/acre
- Brix: 21.5°
100% barrel fermentation
100% malolactic fermentation
11 months maturation in barrel
- Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
The Mate’s Vineyard is usually the most reserved and unyielding when young with the nose being closed, just giving hints of the golden queen peach and mineral notes that we expect from Mate’s Vineyard. On the palate however, the flavor is very concentrated and distinctly richer than the other 2018 wines, but maintaining a perfect balance and freshness that sets this wine apart and makes it wonderful. Although the 2018 is a little more forward than other vintages this is a wine of concentration that will be very long lived.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard — 2018 – Wine Enthusiast – 91 Points
Coming from the oldest of Kumeu's vineyards (1990), this vintage of “Maté” is not in any hurry. It's very quiet, but is at peace with its introspection. It needs to be decanted and sipped practically at room temperature before offering up subtle pear, stone fruit, butterscotch and vanilla bean oak notes, and even then aromas are trumped by the palate, where chalk and cream share a balance beam with pristine acidity and oak that supports but is currently a little drying. There's length and laser focus, though. This just needs a patient owner. Drink 2022–2030.
Kumeu River Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard — 2018 – Wine Spectator – 92 Points
A mix of power and detail, with concentrated peach, apricot and pear flavors at the core, featuring nuances of sesame seed, white flowers, fresh ginger and lime zest set on a smooth and extremely juicy frame. Drink now. 1,100 cases made, 112 cases imported.
Kumeu River Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay — 2018 – Wine Advocate – 93 Points
Gentle notes of toasted grain mark the nose of the 2018 Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay, framing ripe pineapple and white peach aromas. There's a hint of bacon fat too. On the medium-bodied palate, the wine is slightly custardy and silky, while at the same time, it's crisp and focused, tightening on the finish into a coiled spring of citrus zest. Like most vintages of Maté’s, this ideally needs a couple of years in the cellar to fully express itself.
Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay – 2018 – James Suckling – 96 Points
The top-tier chardonnay here is very much in command and has a super rich and very concentrated feel with deep, ripe-peach and mango aromas with grilled-grapefruit notes, too. The palate is very rich and ripe, offering a super fleshy feel with long, rich and layered, stone-fruit flavors. Drink or hold. Screw cap.