Kumeu River Mate’s Chardonnay

Never have I seen a set of New Zealand chardonnays more stunning than Kumeu River’s 2009s, and Mate’s leads the parade. As always, this is the last vineyard picked on the estate, yielding a wine of refined energy, coiled-up tension, profound texture and restrained finesse. A persistence of grand cru Burgundian proportions lingers long and accurate with gunflint nuances. Delicate spice and peach fruit dance with perfumed white flowers and hints of struck match. When I suggested to Michael Brajkovich a week after its release that this may prove to rank among the finest chardonnays he’s made, he smiled in agreement and added “Wait for the 2010s!” $57 at Cellar d’Or.