2014 Kumeu River "Coddington" Single Vineyard Chardonnay Kumeu

SKU #1327216 96 points Sam Kim

 A wine of instant gratification, even though it is youthful and far from its peak. The opulent nose shows yellow stone fruit, fig, mandarin and vanilla characters with subtle toasted almond notes. It is concentrated and plush on the palate with rich fruit intensity and texture, while remaining balanced and structured. Irresistibly delicious. At its best: 2017 to 2025.

95 points Bob Campbell

 600 cases made. Single vineyard wine. Quite fleshy with tree fruit, peach, nectarine and yellow-fleshed plum flavours, together with a subtle seasoning of nutty lees and spicy oak character. An initial sense of fruit opulence leads to a dry and slightly grainy finish.

94 points James Suckling

 Bright and citrusy style with gently toasty oak in a modern guise. This has a sense of pristine fruit ripeness, opening to white-peach aromas and a flinty edge. The palate's smoothly crafted, and the acidity keeps everything attractive in terms of beautiful stone-fruit flavors that sit in a sorbet-like texture. So much great freshness and resolve. Drink now.

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 With a savory, struck match undercurrent, the 2014 Coddington Chardonnay has a core of lemons, fresh grapefruit and yuzu with a touch of pineapple. Medium bodied and still quite tightly wound at this youthful stage, it gives and refreshing acid backbone throughout the long finish. It should age beautifully over the next 6-8 years+.

93 points Wine Spectator

 Precise and appealing, with lemongrass and thyme accents to the pear, lemon and honeydew melon flavors, set on a sleek, crisp frame. Notes of peppery white flowers, spice and green tea linger on the finish. Drink now. 1,000 cases made.

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Price: $39.99

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.