Kumeu River, Rays Road, Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
"white flowers and lemon on the nose, with vibrant acidity and tingly oyster-shell minerality on the palate..."
|Grape Blend||Chardonnay 100%|
Rays Road is Kumeu River’s vineyard site in Hawkes Bay that was purchased in 2017. This limestone hillside is at 180 m altitude, with a northerly aspect. It is dry-farmed to yield high quality grapes for wine under the Rays Road name for our Kumeu River label. This Chardonnay was hand-harvested, whole bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in older French Oak barrels to give a wine that is zesty and fragrant, with mineral complexity that is very true to its site. With the 2020 vintage Rays Road produced the best fruit we have seen yet from this unique site.
"Neat and well integrated, quite restrained. And already very accessible though with light, fine tannins and quite opulent fruit on the front palate. Sprightly. Lemon-pastille flavour. Very long. Beautifully made." 17/20 Janice Robinson
"While the first two wines are ready to go and eminently affordable for everyday drinking, we now take a big step up for the rest of the portfolio. A new wine in the line-up and it pleases me greatly to see that it comes from Hawke’s Bay. I adore Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay and I can certainly see why these coolish climate kings have chosen to seek more fruit and also more challenges in this part of Kiwiland. I love Rays road. Classy, layered and complete this is a very different take on this grape from the remainder of the portfolio, given that the rest come from Kumeu (north of Auckland). There is a distinct beginning, middle and end here, which is often a challenge in a new wine and particularly I love the acid line and elegance on the finish." 18/20 Matthew Jukes
"In 2017, Kumeu River spread its wings to Hawke's Bay, purchasing Rays Road, a site on limestone at 180 meters in altitude. The 2020 Chardonnay Rays Road displays a fuller style, offering breadth and a smooth embrace. There are subtle aromatics – this is Chardonnay, after all – suggesting Golden Delicious apples meeting beeswax and shortbread, and modest concentration and length. The wine’s appeal is in its textural, mouth-coating finish." 88/100 Rebecca Gibb