Specialising in wine from around the world

Ten-Acre Wines Ltd is an independent wine merchant specialising in everyday value from around the world, en primeur and fine wines. We find exciting new, hand-picked wines which offer the sort of quality and value not easily found elsewhere.

2022 Kumeu River

Kumeu River Vineyards 

The magnificent 2022 wines from Kumeu River have been released and we’re very pleased to be able to offer a selection below. Are there better value Chardonnays from anywhere? I don’t think so. The Estate wines are such good value and the Village wines are rediculously inexpensive given their quality.

Kumeu River estate was established in 1944, when Mick and Kate Brajkovich and son Maté first came to the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km north-west of Auckland. Despite being situated well to the north of New Zealand’s other viticultural regions, the Kumeu vineyards are cooled by the close proximity of both the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, generating cloud cover that keeps peak summer temperatures below 30°C, enhancing the aromas and flavours during ripening. The family’s latest venture saw an exciting addition with the 2017 acquisition of a vineyard in Hawkes Bay. Rays Road, Raukawa, was originally a joint project between the well-known Sancerre producer, Pascal Jolivet, and New Zealand’s Trinity Hill, but things didn’t work out and they sold to Kumeu River, providing them with access to a superb vineyard site quite different from the Kumeu home vineyards. The soil is limestone and sits at altitude, the two factors that first attracted Jolivet as they mirror those of his native Loire. The results of the first harvests were impressive, and they just keep getting better.

2022 Vintage Report
2022 was yet another excellent vintage for Kumeu River (four on the trot now but if you’re getting bored, don’t worry, there’ll be very little wine from the 2023 harvest). The winter of 2021 was relatively mild, but quite wet, so the soil was well hydrated. Spring came early, but fortunately there was no frost damage. The spring growth was lush and rapid, requiring even more careful leaf removal, and flowering was ahead of usual, indicating another early harvest. January was quite dry, providing excellent ripening conditions. Temperatures were significantly cooler than in most years, but consistently above 25°C, allowing the grapes to develop aroma and flavour. Early February brought rain and high humidity over Waitangi weekend, but that soon cleared to allow picking to start in sunshine.

Harvest commenced on 15 February 2022, still very early by any historical standard, and the harvest period itself was free of rainfall. Harvesting finished on 13 March, thus avoiding the substantial rainfall that came a week or so later.  Once again, the Chardonnay wines, particularly the Single Vineyards, are shining examples of the Kumeu style. The terroir differences between various parcels are very distinct, really highlighting their individual personalities. Pinot Gris is also very strong this year with high sugar levels, and with some Botrytis influence producing rich and textural wines.
Price is GBP In Bond per case, size as indicated,  excluding duty, Vat and any delivery or transfer charges.
All wines offered subject to remaining available.  

2022 Estate Chardonnay  –  £170 per 12 x 75cl
What can one say about Kumeu’s estate chardonaay that hasn’t already been said?  I have sold this wine for something like 25 years and it has always been extraordinary value.  I really can’t recommend it highly enough and, at this price, it’s a steal.

Rating 93 Release Price NA Drink Date 2023 – 2033 Reviewed by Erin Larkin Issue Date Nov 30, 2023 Source
The 2022 Estate Chardonnay is nutty and svelte, with white peach, pastry, apricot kernel, brine and even a hint of malt biscuit through the finish. The wine has breadth and girth to it; it’s not at all compact, but it’s tight in texture. So, all things being equal, it’s an exciting Chardonnay. This is from six different sites in the Kumeu area, with wine aging on lees in 20% new oak (just about all François Frères) for approximately 11 months. Everything goes 100% malolactic fermentation, wild primary ferment, and malolactic fermentation is a mixture of inoculation and wild. From 2024, they will not be inoculating malolactic fermentation, as “the wild yeasts seem to be the most reliable,” explains Michael Brajkovich. Lovely acid. 13% alcohol, sealed under screw cap.

2022 Hunting Hill Chardonnay  –  £180 per 6 x 75cl
There are only 2 six packs of this extraordinary wine remaining, the difference in quality between HH and Matés these days is almost imperceptiable, certainly not worth the price difference.

Rating 95+ Release Price NA Drink Date 2023 – 2037 Reviewed by Erin Larkin Issue Date Aug 01, 2023 Source

The 2022 Hunting Hill Chardonnay is mouthfilling and obvious in its outlay of flavor in the mouth—yellow peach, apricot, Golden Delicious apple, beeswax/lanolin and ripe lime flesh. The flutter of acidity that feathers the fruit is compelling and alluring in its power and juiciness. An exciting wine. It’s a wine I want to drink (I will; the perks) and a wine I am enjoying considering too. It’s intellectual and sensorial/corporeal in equal measure. The Hunting Hill Vineyard was planted in 1982 and overlooks Mate’s Vineyard. This is a pleasurable, exciting, fleshy, complex, salty, kaleidoscopic wine. Excellent. Recommended. 13.5% alcohol, sealed under screw cap.