Few Chardonnay producers have developed as much hot acclaim and excitement as New Zealand’s Kumeu River. Their superb 2017 estate Chardonnay (one of their finest in years) wastes no time in impressing you, showcasing unbelievable class and distinction for under $30. There is no question that if this was white Burgundy, the price would be twice as much. Luckily, it’s not. For newcomers, it’s time you experience the estate Neal Martin describes as “amongst the very best Chardonnay producers in the world.”
2017 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay
“The 2017 Estate Chardonnay has a fresh, well-defined bouquet of citrus fruit complemented by subtle scents of brioche and almond. The palate is taut and crisp on the entry with a twist of sour lemon. Very saline in the mouth, not powerful but full of tension. The aforementioned saline tang lingers on the aftertaste. Superb - one of the best Estate releases in recent years. Tasted at the Kumeu River Chardonnay vertical in London.” 92 Points Neal Martin, Vinous
Last year UK critic Jancis Robinson preached the gospel on Kumeu River:
“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 the estate 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 names like 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.” Vinous critic Neal Martin was also at the tasting and agreed: “Kumeu River triumphed to such an extent that it became almost embarrassing. And to think that you can buy an entire case of Kumeu River for the cost of a single bottle of some Grand Crus.”
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.