Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu
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.
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.
The Wine Advocate
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.
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.