75cl * 13% ABV * Auckland/Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
In April 2017 the Brajkovich family headed by Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich, who run Kumeu River Wines, took possession of a vineyard at Rays Road in Hawkes Bay that was already planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They were particularly keen to see how these varieties performed as the vineyard soil there is wind-blown clay loess over limestone. Pinot Noir yields were a lot lower following substantial 2020 spring frost damage, but this allowed for some very good colour and flavour development for the remaining grapes. Kumeu River believe it is the best year they have seen for Pinot since they acquired the vineyard in 2018.
From the excellent 2021 vintage they have consolidated that quality expectation, and this year have blended the grapes from Rays Road with some outstanding richer Kumeu fruit with delicious results. The wine displays a bright cherry red /burgundy colour with lifted red fruit aromas. On the palate the wine is cool, round and fruity and with a nice hint of chalky tannin that keeps the wine dry and refreshing.
Wine Critic Jancis Robinson MW gives the 2021 vintage 16/20.