Can’t compete with Adam’s recent jolly, but on a Kiwi note we tasted the above blind on 29th December. One light, the other a darker golden colour. On the nose the lighter was more closed with a touch of furniture polish; the other more woody. On the palette, the lighter with nicely balanced acid, fresh and minerally, taut but a little short; the other richer, fruitier, with more wood and more length, though at first a little harsh.
By now I had recognised the darker, richer wine to be the Kumeu River Coddington. Having read about how often the Kumeu chardonnays are mistaken for top flight Burgundies such as Puligny or Mersault (see Farr vintner blog for a similar blind tasting) I was a little disappointed at how easily we had distinguished the New Zealand wine and how different it was in character: much more extravagant and effusive. However the way the two wines developed in the glass was perhaps most interesting.
The Puligny improved in the glass showing more intensity, filled out a bit and developed more length, all refinement and restraint. The Coddington remained for a while dominated by the oak on nose and on the palette, pleasurable but a bit harsh. However as the evening wore on, I found myself wanting more fruit intensity and some nuttiness from the Puligny. The Coddington by contrast gained complexity and eventually completely dropped the oakiness in flavour of intense rich fruit, perhaps without as much balancing acidity as the Puligny, but nevertheless with just enough to keep it engaging. It continued to have good length and to be overall delicious.
The Coddignton was polished off that night and the Puligny the next day when it had really come together in a refined but more intense way.
Tasting the full line up of different single vineyard Kumeu’s at the Farr Vintner Xmas tasting the range of styles was apparent, from intense and steely like the Hunting Hill to luscious and perhaps a little flabby in the Mates vineyard. Perhaps one of the more steely vineyards would have matched the Puligny better, but for me the Coddington provided a good balance and delivered in terms of pure drinking pleasure all the way to the bottom of the bottle. It leaves me thinking that comparisons with aristocracy of burgundy are beside the point.