I recently tasted a hand harvested Chardonnay from Kumeu River Estate, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand and which is often set alongside Chardonnay based wines from Meursault, St Aubin, Puligny Montrachet, Chablis and others in Burgundy. I fear that this does many wines such as this an injustice….. if you want to taste and appreciate a white Burgundy then go there or buy one. You’ll soon appreciate the difference! On the other hand, appreciate this wine for what it is.
The predominant factor determining the character of any Burgundian wine is terroir. The soil, the aspect of the vineyard, the climate. Nobody should expect any wine grown in New Zealand to be identical or even similar to one grown in a vineyard in Chablis, France. It’s crazy, they are different wines from the same grape, even if in many professional blind tastings the Kumeu chardonnays actually beat the Burgundies!
The tasting notes and description of the wine I bought says this on the Kumeu website say:
“This is a wine where we always have a bottle in the fridge. The perfect aperitif Chardonnay this wine also goes very well with all types of seafood. Fermented 45% in old French oak barriques, and 55% in stainless steel tanks there is very little oak influence on either nose or palate. This has allowed the vibrant fruit to show through beautifully with lively lime and lemon aromas and a flinty, mineral edginess with hints of fig and white peach.”
See, the winemaker never mentions Burgundy or Old World yet you find those “hints” made in the marketing blurb of supermarkets and wine merchants selling it ….. because they know the words “like a Burgundy” will attract you!
This wine is a typical New World Chardonnay, it’s fresh and very quaffable as an everyday wine but which will keep until 2023 according to The Wine Society. It gets into my 3 Star category as an Everyday Wine at £10.95
So to return to my purpose of writing this post, if you expect to taste Burgundian flavours in a wine then get your wallet out and buy a Burgundy!