WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations

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Christmas shopping at Bennetts Fine Wine – Chipping Campden, Cotswolds

It was with great delight that I fell upon Bennetts Fine Wine in the lovely town of Chipping Campden. Whilst the family were  busying themselves way buying Christmas presents and coffee drinking, I luxuriated in the fantastic collection.

One of WanderCurtis’s favorites Kumeu River was represented in abundance as one of the first importers. I tried a 2008 Kumeu River pinot noir – smokey, rich, fruity and gorgeous with Christmas day roast beef and chicken in sherry and mango! Also went for Shaw and Smith M3 chardonnay 2008 –  highly rated. This shop has a superb collection, and highly recommended to anyone passing through this truly unspoilt area of green rolling hills of our beautiful country.

Boxing Day evening was complemented by ‘The Caracal’, a South African Bordeaux blend – shared with my brother and washed down with Muga 2007. Another slightly blurry, very merry, antioxidant packed festive season.

Off to Bistro d’Aix in Crouch End tomorrow to investigate venues for our January ‘Four Decades of Bordeaux’ tasting.

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Kumeu River Coddington 07 v Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères 05 er cru

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.