||Kumeu River Rays Road
||Hawkes Bay, NZ
||Pale golden yellow
||White blossoms and lemon
||Vibrant acidity and tingly oyster-shell minerality
Indigenous yeast fermentation
100% barrel fermentation
100% malo-lactic fermentation
11 months maturation in barrel
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.
The 2022 vintage has seen Rays Road yield exceptionally pure and matured fruit, a testament to the distinctive character of the site. The recent harvests have benefited from the inclusion of Chardonnay from our newer vineyards, predominantly cultivated with Clones 15 and 548. These clones have introduced a broader and more intricate profile to the Chardonnay's expression, enhancing the grape’s complexity beyond what was achieved with the established Clone 95, while maintaining the characteristic lively mineral essence on the palate.
The resulting Rays Road Chardonnay bursts with the scents of white blossoms and citrus on the nose, paired with a sumptuous texture and a dynamic, crisp acidity when tasted. This addition significantly enriches the Kumeu River collection and fulfills our anticipations of excellence from this location.