Kumeu River Cremant Auckland $55
Cremant is the name for high quality sparkling wine made the same way as champagne, only not able to be called champagne because it comes from somewhere else, in this case that somewhere else is Kumeu, West Auckland.
The wine has been a work in progress for Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich for the past three years while it has aged on its yeast lees (left overs form fermentation) in the bottle. This process enables it to pick up all sorts of complex flavours of fresh bread, yeast and savoury notes too – especially over an extended three year period (the same duration as vintage champagnes).
The wine is made mostly from Chardonnay, the key grape at this small family owned and operated wine specialist; here it makes up 60% of this wine’s blend, with the balancing 40% being Pinot Noir. The wine is bone dry with lots going on and flavours that remind me of fresh bread, fresh goat’s cheese and a hint of honey and citrus. It was aged on lees from August 2013 til May 2016 and is a bone dry with a full body and lingering finish.
PS: It’s sealed with a crown seal since Kumeu River Wines is a cork-free zone, and while this could suggest that you are more or less committed to the bottle (once it’s opened), that can only be a good thing – this is very good quality sparkling wine and joins an already outstanding stable of whites from one of New Zealand’s smallest, highest quality producers.