“Do we really need white burgundy?”
That was the question Jancis Robinson openly asked her readers in a column she wrote last October. She had just completed an extensive vertical tasting of Chardonnays from Kumeu River and she was eager to report just how impressed she was:
“I have long argued that New Zealand makes even better Chardonnay than Sauvignon Blanc…. Kumeu River somehow manages to make some of not just New Zealand’s but the world’s finest Chardonnay... Kumeu Chardonnays comprehensively knocked spots off some of the finest white burgundies.”
Ms. Robinson is not the only journalist praising Kumeu River for performing on the same level as great white Burgundy.
Decanter’s Tina Gellie participated in a blind tasting with Kumeu going up against legendary estates Leflaive, Lafon, Sauzet, Drouhin, Girardin and Niellon. She reported back: “It was a fascinating tasting, with Kumeu River a clear winner in three of the four flights.” Whether you agree with the white Burgundy comparisons or not, one thing is for certain: this is not minor league baseball here. Kumeu, deservedly so, is performing in the big leagues. And for the money they are asking for, they are knocking the ball way, way out of the park. Don’t believe us? It’s time you check out the superb 2017 release of the Mate vineyard chardonnay. Loaded with layers of fruit, drive, texture and terrific balance, we’re extremely excited to see what a little time in the cellar will reveal. We’re betting it’s going to even leave the biggest white Burgundy fan a little speechless.
2017 Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay
“The mineral character of this wine is currently so pronounced and the fruit so closed that it’s not easy, also because of the slight funk from reduction, to identify the grape variety. On the palate, this marathon-runner chardonnay is very clean and highly structured with lots of drive, the finish very long and complex. Drink or hold.” 97 Points, James Suckling
“Always the longest lived of the Kumeu River Chards, the 2017 Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay starts off smoky and flinty, marked by zesty grapefruit and lime fruit. It's medium to full-bodied yet tightly coiled, with great energy, thrust and vitality, which translate into tremendous length on the electric finish.” 95 Points, Wine Advocate