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Kumeu wines - ? Great marketing over substance


Hello All,

I’ve recently joined the forum - not sure why I didn’t join earlier!

I’ve just had my first bottle of Kumeu Chardonnay - the Coddington and I’m slightly disappointed - quite light compared to a good white burgundy. Am I being a bit harsh or do others have the same thoughts?


Hi @Drblues, great first post. I had a brief H E Bateman moment there as I have it in my head that they’re excellent wines, based on my experience of the 06s and 10s. But then I recalled my mild disappointment with a 2013 Coddington recently. Not that it was bad in any way but that it wasn’t better. I have very much enjoyed both Coddington and HH, rating them as Puligny rivalling, so rather than examining my settled opinion, I assumed I had drunk it too early. You don’t say which vintage and of course palates vary, etc. For now, I’ll file away your note and come at the next one with a more enquiring mind.


Some interesting discussion here https://wine-pages.com/community/threads/nw-chardonnay-v-burgundy-shoot-out.6436/


Never tried a Coddington, but I’m a huge Hunting Hill fan - to the extent that I haven’t bought any Puligny en primeur for several years. It does need time though - I’m currently on the 2011s. Great value - and great consistency and reliability, which is more than can be said for too many white Burgundies in my experience.


Great link, thanks for sharing.
Wonder who might be reviewing their Burg EP requests before the deadline… :thinking:


Ah maybe I drunk it too early! It was the 2015 vintage. When I first opened it , there was a hint of sherbet. I left it open for 7 hours and deank it with dinner. By then it was pleasant - a bit lean and not complex. I wanted to see what it tasted like before committing to buying some of their 2017s. Anyway I’ve bought 6 bottles of the 2017 Mate’s Vineyard but will leave them for about 8 years.

Thanks Chianti Peter - I’ve bought a few bottles of the Hunting Hill as well to try in the future


I would agree with @ChiantiPeter. Give them time. I am currently drinking the ‘village’ Kumeu from 2014 and 2015.

We tasted this beside a higher level white burgundy last year, from the 2011 vintage, and there wasn’t a lot in it, but quite different styles. However, the Kumeu was half the price.


I’ve just bought a bottle of the 2016 Coddington so would also be interested in others’ thoughts on this. I did check the drinking window on CT beforehand and it’s now until 2027 which makes me think I should wait at least another 3 years or so before trying it.


I first became aware of Kumeu River when I visited the vineyard on a trip to Auckland back in 2009. As far as I am aware, it wasn’t a ‘well’ known vineyard back then; but I loved the wines and I was excited when the wine society was listed as a UK stockist. I have bought their wines every year since. Vintage variation aside, the wines age very, very well and I would advise against attacking the single vineyard wines too young. I even had a bottle of their ‘Estate’ wine from 2009 over Christmas and it was just lovely. My favourite of the single vineyards wine is undoubtedly the Mate’s (which will age and improve gracefully for at least 10-15 years, probably longer). I guess what I am saying is to try to resist for a while and wait for them to show at their best!



On the back of all this I’ve found it best to purchase a case Mate’s Vineyard 2016. If I’m going to hedge my Burgundies I figure I’d better start sooner rather than later and it was either this or the Kooyong Faultline, Ive enjoyed both in the past.


Yes, me too… no brainer.


I thought I would share a tasting with this thread that our local wine club had last month. It was a paired ‘blind’, evenly priced wine tasting between various Kumeu River wines and Burgundies - mainly the wines of up and coming superstar Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey (PYCM). The results came from the votes for each pairing by 15 wine club members. The village Kumeu River Chardonnay (KRC) 2017 was pleasant, although a little simple and was beaten by the tremendous Brocard Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2014 (-a brilliant value Chablis offered regularly by TWS). Next, a delicious Estate KRC 2014 just pipped an equally generous, fruity PYCM Bourgogne 2014. Upping the stakes, an absolutely brilliant KRC Hunting Hill 2013 easily beat a tasty PYCM Rully 2016. If anyone holds bottles of Hunting Hill 2013, then they should wait at least 2 years before trying a bottle, as it will only improve. This wine will beat most Puligny 1re Crus - it’s that good! Finally a slightly underwhelming KRC Mates 2015 was aced by a fantastic PYCM St. Aubin 2015. Perhaps the Mates needs another 2-3 years to fully open up, but for now it is not shining. So, on this tasting it was honours even between Kumeu River and some top value Burgundies. All I would add is that I will be buying more Kumeu River chardonnays because they have consistently proven, year in, year out, to be great value wines at every price point.


Wouldnt that sort of thing make a fun fine wine mixed case from TWS Fine Wine List?

6 wines, 1 bottle each of 3x Burgundy, 3x NW Chardonnay - all in their drinking windows…



Not sure the winemakers would give their consent to such mixed cases.


Would their consent be required?


I guess we’ll never know, but I think yes.


Marcel was writing about mixed EP cases there, but I thought @danchaq was suggesting a case of mixed wines bought by TWS in the normal way after release. Or maybe I misunderstood something??


Yep I was thinking just in the normal fine wine list, maybe Toby and Sarah pick three bottles each of something nice at various levels that is within their respective drinking windows. Could even link it to the community and all discuss over the following weeks how were getting on and what our impressions are. Like a longer format TWS Taste.


If it were chardonnay, then I would 100% buy this case. I’d like it to include NZ, USA, Chile and Aus though :smiley: #greedy


I can’t think of a single wine I’ve ever tasted where the equation style over substance was less true.

At the tasting I attended 10 odd years ago, the Brajkovich present (not sure which one it was) could not have done a worse job selling/presenting his wines.

The wines speak for themselves