75cl * 13% ABV * Auckland, New Zealand
In 1990, Maté Brajkovich reworked the land and planted a new vineyard of Chardonnay vines on the site of the original vineyard that he and his family purchased in March 1944. The first grapes from this vineyard were harvested in March 1993, the year following Maté’s death. The resulting wine was released in November 1994 to coincide with celebrations marking the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Brajkovich Family’s arrival at Kumeu River.
The 2022 vintage for the 'Mate’s Vineyard' continues an amazing run of vintages from this single vineyard plot. The grapes are whole-bunch pressed, then undergo 100% malolactic fermentation and 100% barrel fermentation with only indigenous yeast before maturing for 11-months in barrel. This produces a beautifully perfumed yet restrained wine, with delicate aromas or pear and citrus. The mouth-filling texture and length of flavour mark it as a wine for long-term bottle maturation of 5-15 years.
"Pale straw. The richest of the line-up. But still very transparent and lively. Chewy finish. A wine in line with late 20th-century ideal of Chardonnay while Hunting Hill is closer to what is sought in the early 21st century. 13%. Drink 2026 - 2036." 17+/20 Points, Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com, September 2023
"The nose on this 2022 Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay leads with candied bananas, pineapple husk, white peach and a hint of lychee, and the edges of the aromatics are feathered with preserved citrus, brine, curry leaf and apple skins. In the mouth, the wine is powered by supercharged fruit; it is crystalline in its way, an attribute that I have long-since associated with the Chardonnays from Kumeu River. The flavor is sapid and palate-staining, with just enough salt and savory spices in the fruit to make it super complex as well as powerful. It is precisely folded like origami, each crease in service of the overall shape. A wine that offers much and assumes nothing. 13% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. 2023 - 2037" 96/100 Points, Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate, September 2023
"Pale lemon colour in the glass with a brilliant, immediate and expansive nose, this is an outstanding Mate's Vineyard. Layers of stuck match, juicy fresh peaches, dried nectarine and mandarin come through, together with wonderfully integrated wood spice. The palate is highly polished, fleshy and plump on entry but tamed by vibrant, mouthwatering acidity. Lashings of orchard fruit come together with a subtle creaminess and waves of nutmeg and clove, this is intense without any heaviness. Very long on the finish, with acidity and pithy structure taming the concentrated fruit. Outstanding." 97/100 Points, Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, September 2023