New Zealand State Banquet Wine---Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2012
Starts out firm and juicy, with green apple, Asian pear and lemon zest notes, but then gains momentum, with toast, vanilla bean, candied ginger and honeycomb details, culminating in a detailed, refreshing wine with a long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2026.
Kumeu River Wines has just 30 hectares of vineyards, which are predominantly clay soils overlying a sandstone base. These soil types retain sufficient water at depth, even during the summer months, to ensure the deep vine roots continue to hydrate the vine without excessive vigour. Therefore, the vineyard doesn’t require irrigation, a factor that is critical to the quality of Kumeu River’s grapes.
Despite being situated well north of New Zealand’s other viticultural regions, Kumeu’s climate is kept cool thanks to its close proximity to the Tasman Sea, just 20km to the west and the Pacific Ocean 30km to the east. These two large bodies of water generate clouds, which help to moderate the climate, keeping peak summer temperatures below 30°C. These temperatures contribute to the conditions that enhance the fantastic aromas and flavours from early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay.
One of the distinguishing factors of Kumeu River’s wines is all of the grapes are harvested by hand. This allows the opportunity to remove sub-standard grapes by hand; the result is a net yield of purely high-quality grapes.