Monday, September 30, 2013

Kumeu River Chardonnay

Kumeu River is probably New Zealand's best known Chardonnay producer. I have not drunk their wines for a number of years, but the other day I picked up a couple of bottles from the cellar.

Kumeu River produces a number of different Chardonnays from different blocks of their vineyard. The 2007 Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay shows the typical flavour profile of this producer. The fruit is quite tropical, melon and pappaya, but it is overwhelmed by oaky flavours and some butterscotch. This feels oddly out of place now if you mainly drink Chardonnays from Australia, although this wine is not nearly as big as some Californian Chardonnays. This wine was a relatively recent addition to Kumeu River's portfolio at the time, and I wonder what it adds. The palate is quite harmonious and the structure of this wine is balanced (well, too much oak for me).

Score: 90/-

The 2007 Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard is their 'Reserve' Chardonnay. The flavour profile is similar to the wine above, but a little creamier and more elegant, with malolactic fermentation playing a major part. This is a good wine, although it lacks some preciseness or linearity on the palate.

Score: 93/+

At six years, these wines have held up quite well. They are not dull, as many aged Chardonnays can be, but I would have preferred to drink them younger.  

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