Chardonnay, Hunting Hill, Kumeu
This vintage of Hunting Hill, from one of New Zealand's most renowned Chardonnay producers, is, like the “Maté,” currently very young and austere. After some time warming in the glass, soft but fairly ripe melon and tropical fruit, along with buttery, vanillin oak characters emerge. Once again, the palate is the star here: Laser-sharp acidity is tempered by a slippery texture and a zing of citrus fruit. But, while the winemaking is solid with nary a hair out of place, there's little in the way of character. It's likely going to take many years before that will show. Drink 2023–2030.
Intense and mouthwatering, with a honeyed beeswax note that adds nuance to the pear, grapefruit and melon flavors on a sleek frame. Shows terrific clarity and focus. Crisp finish. Drink now through 2029. 860 cases made, 112 cases imported.
The Wine Advocate
Almost always the most opulent of the Kumeu Chards, the 2018 Hunting Hill Chardonnay fits that description perfectly. Loaded with white peach, pineapple and even melon-like fruit, those notes are sculpted by faint suggestions of pencilly oak in a generous but focused package. It's medium to full-bodied, with a creamy mid-palate and a vibrant finish.
This has plenty of rich, stone-fruit aromas with a fresh and quite crisp palate that has good focus and a sleek, gentle, pastry-like finish. Plenty to offer now, but is quite taut and linear. Drink or hold. Screw cap.