Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay

Kumeu River Wines
Estate Bottled
Kumeu, New Zealand
$20.29 -- Twin Liquors, Austin, TX

Color: Rich light gold
Nose: Lemon, salt, bread, slightly burned popcorn
Body: Medium
Front: Lime
Middle: Steely lemon (know you not the power of the steely lemon?)
Back: Balsa wood, tea leaf
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Screwcap

I've heard good things about these wines for some time, and am glad I finally took the (20% reduced price) chance to try one out. According to the back label, this should have been drunk a year ago at the latest, but I find it's still quite lovely; crisp acidity right off the bat, and well-tempered oak that keeps the fruit flavors (all tangy--no cloying melon or honey) present and functioning.

Part of what's cool about drinking this wine now is that there's lots of oak on the nose, so to get the acidic cut up front is kind of delightful. You could put the forgetting power of wine to work: Drink it while you're doing something distracting, so you will keep forgetting the taste and having this experience over and over again.

My new favorite pairing with chardonnays is manchego cheese; but I think given the low alcohol and charming acid of this one, it'll go with many foods, so fear not.

Note 1-21-2011: Tried the 2007; it's much more plainly oaky on the nose, mixed with salty lemon, but the palate had the same wonderful sparkly, cutting acidity up front and balanced fruit, cedar, and flowers on the palate.