Only keep wines you love
with our Society's Promise
Free delivery on
12 bottles or orders over £75
Now accepting new memberships
Sign up for a lifetime of good wine
Pure, harmonious chardonnay from the excellent 2019 vintage in New Zealand. With tempting peach and apple aromas developing on the generous palate, this is fresh, bright and delicious.
Product Code: NZ12011
View all products by Kumeu River Wines Ltd
The Brajkovich family own the highly regarded Kumeu River Estate near Auckland. Although Kumeu is a rather less fashionable wine district than some on New Zealand’s North Island, the Brajkovichs have proven that it is possible to make wonderful wines here. Michael Brajkovich, who was incidentally the first New Zealander to become a Master of Wine has been the winemaker since 1982. His non-conformist and forward-thinking approach has been particularly successful in creating wines that show the hallmarks of New Zealand although there is a definite Old Word inspiration throughout. Michael’s brothers Milan and Paul look after the vineyards and sales respectively so it is all a real family effort. Pinot noir here is restrained in structure and discreet of fruit and definitely more akin to Burgundy than New Zealand. Both the Kumeu River Estate and top Maté’s Vineyard chardonnays are barrel-fermented and aged - they are also unusually ageworthy for New Zealand whites – and are thought of as some of the world’s best chardonnays. Kumeu pinot gris successfully balances vibrant fruit aromas with a smooth texture reminiscent of good Alsace examples. The well-priced Kumeu River Village range is made with the same commitment as Kumeu’s top wines and offers well-integrated stylish wines for everyday enjoyment.
Still a baby when compared with other regions, New Zealand has quickly earned a reputation for top-quality wine. New Zealand might be a relative newcomer to the wine world (in 1960, the country had fewer than 400 hectares of vine) but its rise to pre-eminence is extraordinary. The precise, pure flavour of its wines has captured the attention of wine drinkers; Society sales certainly reflect this.The country’s two islands cover a vast area from north to south (it is often quoted in wine books that if New Zealand was in the northern hemisphere, the country would stretch from North Africa to Paris). The maritime climate is influenced by the strong prevailing winds of the Pacific Ocean and the striking mountainous terrain. These factors give the islands a wide range of growing conditions; broadly speaking, the regions of the North Island tend to be warmer than the cooler South Island.The cool New Zealand climate offers real opportunity for aromatic varieties like sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot gris and gewurztraminer . Of the latter three, young plantings mean many styles rely more on sugar than fruit, which we avoid buying. But the very best share the intensity and palate weight of great Alsace examples with vibrant, lifted flavours. South Island’s Marlborough region is the benchmark setter for the former, and there are many pungently aromatic sauvignons that are stunning. Look out, too, for some of the exciting sub-regional wines – the Awatere is Marlborough’s coolest valley, now making really attractive, delicate and grassy wines, and Nelson across the hills is yielding superb wines from quality conscious producers like Neudorf. The first sauvignon blanc vines were planted in Marlborough around 30 years ago, when most farmers were raising cattle or growing fruit. The wines have since taken the world by storm. Farms have been replaced by vineyards, and today, chardonnay and pinot also flourish in Marlborough’s cool climate. The choice is sensational, so is the consistency in quality. However, Marlborough is not only about sauvignon blanc and there are crisp, juicy chardonnays and ripe but balanced pinot noirs of excellence.Further south is Central Otago, in the centre of the island. Pinot noir is something of a speciality here, though on the wrong site it can have difficulty reaching full maturity in this continental climate. The best seasons produce the country’s most dazzling examples of the grape, full-flavoured and superbly pure, and the greatest wines of this scenic region are in high demand around the worldThe north island also boasts excellent wine regions. North of the city of Auckland there is the Bay of Islands where a unique microclimate helps winemakers produce some wonderful reds, and the Brajkovich family’s Kumeu River Estate, specialising in rich but elegant chardonnay, can be found just north-west of New Zealand's biggest city. Waiheke Island, just off the coast close to Auckland, also produces some excellent wines.Hawkes Bay on the east coast of the North Island covers an extensive area of rolling hills, a sweep of coastline and the sharply dominant Te Mata Peak. The warm climate successfully ripens red grape varieties, the very best grown in the gravelly alluvial soils of the Gimblett Gravels appellation. Syrah is now adding its name to the roll call of successful varieties like cabernet and merlot. Chardonnay is well established here too, and the area makes some of New Zealand’s fullest and ripest examples.Close to Wellington at the southern tip of the North Island is Martinborough, arguably New Zealand’s most exciting area for pinot noir. The long growing season is particularly suitable to the slow, gradual ripening that this Burgundian grape so enjoys.
After a few tricky vintages, 2019 is a wonderful return to outright excellent quality. Marlborough in particular has seen exceptional, healthy fruit and although yields are down, the wines produced are superb on the whole. The vintage marks a return to ripe, precise and well-balanced New Zealand sauvignon, which demonstrates all of the deliciousness that has caused this combination of grape and place to become so popular around the world. Pinot noir and chardonnay have done extremely well too, and are particularly worth looking out for.
There are no member reviews for this product. Click the 'Leave a Review' button to be the first.
There are no press reviews for this product.
"Excellent value, for a well balanced wine with good fruit and acidity goes well with food but also chilled on its own."
Mr John Haverty (12-Aug-2020)
"I find some of the negative comments about this wine bizarre, it is a cracking £11 bottle, barely perceptible oak, full and well rounded. I love it. Ignore the negativity below!"
Mr Stephen Wilkinson (24-Jul-2020)
"Apple, citrus (lime more than lemon) to start. Nice minerality on the finish. Not the most sophisticated but a nice refreshing NZ Chardonnay.Pretty good value for the price. "
Mr Tom Rodger (12-Jun-2020)
"This is great value new world chardonnay. Not terribly concentrated or long but well balanced and moreish, with all the flavours you would expect of a clean and professionally made wine. Served at a wedding and many guests asked where they could buy it. "
Dr Ian Craigie (02-Jun-2020)
"I am astonished that The Society suggested this wine as a replacement for the Wither Hills. While not as bad as the dreadful Kumeu Pinot Noir, this is not a good wine. I detected no 'peach and apple aromas', nor was it fresh and bright. Rather it was bitter and obvious, like the £5 nasties from [a supermarket] my neighbour brings round. It's not entirely undrinkable, so I've given it a second star, but I didn't finish my glass. A waste of money. There are many better chardonnays for the rather unrealistic price. Need I state the obvious that I won't be buying any Kumeu Village wines in the future."
Mr Peter Nelson (10-May-2020)
"I would definitely recommend you give this a try"
Mr John D Brookes (21-Mar-2020)
"We found this very drinkable as an every day wine and excellent value for money"
Mr David Kidd (27-Feb-2020)
"Our favourite house wine and the 2018 is the best yet. Crisp. but mouthfilling with a touch of cream and oak, Like a burgundy, best served not too cold. A steal at the discounted price. "
Mr Russell Seekins (19-Feb-2020)
"Nice enough, by virtue of being bland and characterless. I suppose one cannot expect more from an NZ wine at this price point."
Mr Vernon Stradling (28-Dec-2019)
Wine-pages.com (27th Jul 2020)
From one of New Zealand's Chardonnay maestros,
this entry level wine for Kumeu River is still hand-harvested and fermented
with wild yeasts. Around 25% of fruit comes from Hawke's Bay the rest from
the home vineyards north of Auckland. Made in a combination of stainless
steel and older oak barrels, and whole-bunch pressed, it is creamy with a
touch of oatmeal and spice, creamy apple, but fresh. Crisp on the finish, a
touch of exotic fruit comes through on the mid-palate adding some
- Tom Cannavan
The Daily Telegraph (14th Mar 2020)
"Best 50 wines under
£10: Just as we went to press this came off a £2-off deal. It’s still brilliant
at full price – just not under £10 ... Effectively the diffusion line from
chardonnay star Kumeu River, it has pleasing weight and vibrancy with bright
delineation. Superb. - Victoria Moore"
Sunday Express (1st Mar 2020)
"New Zealand makes
some fabulous chardonnay, but it lives in the shadow of sauvignon, the grape
Kiwis are best known for. This is fresh with plenty of flavour, showing pear,
white peach and honey with some mineral hints. It's precise and stony. - Jamie Goode"
Manchester Evening News (20th Feb 2020)
"… peach and apple
notes and a touch of complexity from lees stirring. - Jane Clare"
The Daily Telegraph (30th Nov 2019)
"The diffusion line from the revered Kumeu River on New
Zealand’s North Island is just as impressive as its more expensive siblings. It
has a luminosity that should please Burgundy fans. - Victoria Moore "
"Like most of the cheaper Kumeu's abit flabby and past it at two years old . Do not buy again ."
Mr Gavin Fulton (18-Oct-2019)
"A crisp and zesty white wine with a somewhat flinty finish . Lacking a bit in depth of flavour. Nevertheless, good value for money. An interesting alternative to the Society's White Burgundy."
Mr Bernard Feeney (18-Sep-2019)
"So I’ve bought every Kiwi Chardonnay the WS have (apart from a couple of cheap ones) and will taste them all in the hunt for a burgundian equivalent under £50
This is very good, 1st tasted from Lea & Sandeman, this later vintage is young, steely, but well balanced. No discernible oak although it is well rounded so imagine some ageing went on. The finish is short, well it is £10. However, I think I would struggle to think of a better way to spend £10. Will report back on Kumeu’s big brother estate wine in a while, in the meantime glug this."
Mr Stephen Wilkinson (30-Aug-2019)
"Decent wine. Very modern with that new world reductive style giving lots of smoky notes. It's not burgundy and not trying to be. I think this is pretty decent value for a wine a bit more serious than its price point implies."
Mr Graeme Broom (21-Aug-2019)
"I've been a great fan of Kumeu River wines for a long time so thought I would try their entry level offering. I was a bit disappointed - it is a perfectly decent wine just not in the rich style that I associate with Kumeu. Perhaps I expected too much but it lacked the depth of flavour and balanced fruit.
The top wines of Kumeu are hard to beat, but this Villages offering lacks character in my opinion - okay, but better value elsewhere."
Mr Mark Hewett (26-May-2019)
"Nice bright straw colour
Some nice floral notes on the nose and a touch of oak
Tastes of oak and not a lot else
I’d rather it tasted like wine rather than wood"
Mr Edmond Mandell (23-May-2019)
"Good quality chardonnay. A touch of oak but strong fruit flavours of apricot, peach and apple dominate."
Mr George Fleri (05-May-2019)
"OK but we have better on our list at this price point. Lacking the purity and minerality I look for in good Chardonnay. Perhaps I'm now expecting too much for a tenner."
Mr Johnny Holmes (20-Apr-2019)
"I was very impressed with this wine, which tasted like decent white Burgundy at a very decent price. Rich fruity aromas of peaches and apples; soft and easy-drinking. I thought it was well-balanced and delicious, even if not enormously complex. I really enjoyed it, and will buy again. "
Mr Joshua Crow (03-Apr-2019)
"A rich, quality Chardonnay. Big apple flavours reminiscent of aged cider. Quite rough, in a good way – has something of the farmyard about it, including notes of ripe soft Brie-ish cheese in the aroma. Slight acidic kick. All things considered I really enjoyed this, though I'm not sure it would be popular with all drinkers."
Mr Patrick Vickers (08-Mar-2019)
"Delicious, and tremendous value for money. A wine to order by the case."
Mr Will Smale (11-Feb-2019)
"A lovely wine, substantially creamy and rich on the palate and yet refreshing with wafts of apple and apricots (less so). Very good value, delivered more than what I expected."
Mr Benjamin Liew (21-Dec-2018)
The Observer (22nd Sep 2019)
"… bright and fluent
with ripe golden apple. - David Williams"
The Daily Telegraph (9th Mar 2019)
"50 best wines under
£10: The diffusion line from one of New Zealand’s most celebrated chardonnay
producers, this offers tons more bang for buck than almost every similarly
priced white burgundy, and no less pleasure. - Victoria Moore"
Financial Times (11th Oct 2018)
"I recommend virtually
any of [Kumeu River's] wines but probably best value in the UK is the
current vintage of the Village bottling, its most basic level, at £9.95
from The Wine Society. - Jancis Robinson"
"Having drunk this I now really understand what is meant by "bright acidity". There's a rare clarity to the fruit flavours. This is partially offset by a richer and more mellow tone towards the finish although the acidity remained dominant. A lot of people will enjoy this enormously, and there's no doubt it's a fine wine and very reasonably priced. Personally I preferred the Society's Exhibition New Zealand Chardonnay which is very similar but is slightly more skewed towards rounded richness and didn't threaten to be over sharp as this one did at times."
Mr Tom Lavercombe (23-Jul-2018)
Mr Oliver A Paul (26-Oct-2017)
"Long,full, rich with loads of flavour. Beats anything from France at twice the price. Buy a case."
Mr Charles Stokes (03-Jul-2017)
Mr Alex Downham (05-May-2017)
The Times (30th Jun 2018)
"If great value for
money is what you want, this chardonnay has your name on it. It bursts with
mouth-filling bold, creamy, sweet hazelnut oomph. - Jane MacQuitty"
Kent & Sussex Courier (5th Apr 2017)
"Don't miss out on
[this]; it's like a first-class Chablis, just a little richer. - James Viner"
JancisRobinson.com (2nd Mar 2017)
"Lively green fruit
and easy. What’s not to like?! 16.5/20 - Jancis Robinson"
100 AWEsome Wines (4th May 2017)
"Michael Brajkovich MW
and his family are the only serious producers in New Zealand’s West Auckland
district and fine chardonnay specialists. This is their excellent-value answer
to Mâcon-Villages, light, fresh,
appley and eminently drinkable with only a hint of oak.- Wink Lorch"
The Times (30th Mar 2017)
"Top bottle for £10:
An outstanding Côte d’Or-esque creamy, yellow apple and hazelnut-spiced Kiwi
north island chardonnay, from a tip-top producer who never fails to impress. - Jane MacQuitty"
The Daily Telegraph (25th Feb 2017)
"Kumeu River on New
Zealand’s North Island is renowned for the extremely high quality of its
chardonnay. This is the version they make for every day: it’s luminous and
precise. - Victoria Moore"
Decanter (4th Jan 2017)
"If Kumeu's single
vineyards are Côte d'Or, then this is Chablis. Crisp and chalky, with a hint of
blanched nuts over its green apple freshness. Great value. - Peter Richards"
JancisRobinson.com (10th Dec 2016)
white. - Jancis Robinson"
Vinosaurus (29th Nov 2016)
"I loved [this], with
really minimal oak and loads of fresh, citrus and green apple flavour – a
serious bargain for a tenner – and a great match for white fish. - David Kermode"
The Wine Gang (1st Nov 2016)
"The Brajkovich family
are a class apart in the Kiwi chardonnay-producing fraternity, and their
equivalent of a Burgundy village wine has a touch of smoky flintiness and a
little savoury oakiness, but is mainly distinguished by the clean-cut aromatic
apple blossom and citrus. Great value. 89/100 The Wine Gang"
The Daily Telegraph (22nd Oct 2016)
the undisputed master of New Zealand chardonnay. This is its 'entry level'
wine, but it is still a multi-layered glass.- Hamish Anderson
JancisRobinson.com (21st Oct 2016)
far from put to shame by the Premier Cru Chablis tasted immediately before
it. Such purity! Great crystalline pure Chardonnay flavours. And ready to
enjoy. Such a steal!!! Very, very good value 16.5/20
"Really enjoyed this. Zingy lemon flavour balances the richer textures. Good length."
Mr Colin Mitchell (07-Mar-2016)
"Stands out as a well made wine, single vineyard, hand picked harvest and it shows. Good rounded fruit, low acidity makes it a pleasant, easy to drink wine. Has oak but not over the top and it does not dominate the taste. Priced about right. Enjoyed it, a good effort by the producer."
Mr Terence Eastham (13-Jan-2016)
"Wow! what a fantastic Chardonnay, and at £9.95 its a steal. I know it sounds daft at this price but there's definitely a parallel to Puligny Montrachet if a tad less subtle. One little problem is the Screwtop its solid metal. I had to take a hacksaw to mine, the metal wasn't perforated at all. Didn't stop me enjoying it though."
Mr James Brown (14-Oct-2015)
Cumbria Life (26th Feb 2016)
Meursaultworthy, steely and refreshingly acidic wine. Balanced and elegant with
layered mid-palate and decent length. Outrageous value. "
"This review's for the 2010 vintage, reportedly a very good one for Auckland. Tasted 30 Dec 2013, well chilled. Pale straw colour. Nose not huge, some toasted nuts, citrus and golden ripe apples, ripe fruit. Not oaky at all (is this a New World Chardonnay?). In mouth lovely ripe fruit, toasted hazelnuts, ripe lemons, some peachiness and pineapples, a good medium-body mouth-feel and creaminess but a lively acidity too. Lovely acid lick after all that fruit. Attractive wine right now, I will drink my remaining bottles within next 12 months before acid falls away. Maybe a tad too much oak, if I'm honest. Value-for-money: Outstanding. Would you get this level of wine in a basic white Burgundy for £9.50? I doubt it. Definitely buy again, but will choose my vintages.
Mr Callum Hantler (05-Feb-2015)
"I agree with the professionals. Very appealing. Definitely a southern hemisphere wine, but with a class which is often lacking in some of the less expensive offerings."
Mr James Kilmister (02-Mar-2014)
The Times (7th Dec 2013)
"One of The Times Top 50 Winter Whites 2013. This New Zealand
chardonnay is given the Burgundian-style treatment of indigenous wild yeasts,
barrel fermentation and ageing to create a gorgeous Côte d’Or-esque bold,
smoky, toasted hazelnut of a chardonnay: heaven. - Jane MacQuitty"
JancisRobinson.com (22nd Nov 2013)
"One of The Times Top 50 Winter Whites, 2013 Very lively and
jewelly. So precise and appetising. Good value. 16/20 "
The Daily Telegraph (12th Oct 2013)
?Kumeu River, just outside Auckland, makes
arguably the best chardonnay in New Zealand (and no, that is not like
recommending the best salsa bar for the over-75s in Nuneaton). The wine is
glorious – the control of Burgundy meets the lemon succulence and
luminescence of Down Under. This is Kumeu’s entry level rather than one of
its top wines but it’s still very good with a roast buttery chicken. - Victoria Moore
Log in to view notes
Sign up for a carefully-curated selection of recipes, guides, in-depth expertise and much more.
By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.
You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.
4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?
4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?
Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.
The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.
The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.
4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?
We use the following three types of cookies:
22.214.171.124. Strictly Necessary CookiesThese cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
126.96.36.199. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking CookiesThese cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
188.8.131.52. Performance/analytical cookiesThese cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:
184.108.40.206. Authentication CookieIn order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.
4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?
All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.
4.4.6. Learn more about cookies