Kumeu River are one of the pioneers of the New Zealand wine industry. And in contrast to the all conquering image of Sauvignon Blanc as the country's signature grape, they've built their unparalleled reputation on their world class Chardonnays.
Maté Brajkovich, a Croatian emigrant, established the estate in, what is now, the western suburbs of Auckland in 1944. His eldest son Michael, who took the reins in 1982, is largely responsible for building their name on the excellence of their Chardonnays which can be considered broadly Burgundian in style. In 1989 he was the first New Zealander to become a Master of Wine and is a pillar of the nation's wine industry. Alongside Michael his three siblings, Marijana, Milan and Paul together with their mother, Melba, all have hands on roles and if you ever drop in at their cellar door it's highly likely you'll encounter one of the family more than happy to give you the inside track on their wines.
The 2021 vintage for Mate’s Vineyard continues the amazing run of vintages we have had with this vineyard. We experienced a spring frost in October 2020 and this reduced the yile across all out vineyards. The rest of the growing season was excellent and the grapes harvested in in 2021 were ripe, rich and concentrated.. The resulting wine shows the density, concertation and length that we expect from a terrific Mate’s Vineyard vintage Although still somewhat shy on the nose, with bottle age the full palette of complex aromas and bouquet of this wonderful wine will be gradually and seductively revealed.This is a wine of immense concentration that will be very long lived. Drink with seafood, chicken, pasta and risotto. Michael Brajkovich MW
97pts. The 2021 Chardonnay Maté's Vineyard offers greater tension and sapidity compared with how the more relaxed 2020 did upon release. It will need time in bottle to shake off the rawness of youth. It is focused, concentrated and precise. There's sophisticated use of oak, which integrates seamlessly within the package. I got a cold the day after this was first opened, and almost a week later, when my senses returned, it remained impeccable, focused and compact. Drink 2024 – 2035. Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous