I hate to gloat. Well, I only like to gloat on occasion. Okay, when I'm right I'm right!! Throw in lucky and it's a perfect storm for gloating.
That's what this week "Wine of the Week" is all about.
Let me first tell you how I came to find this wine in the first place. While I was rummaging through a local wine shop, and it's important to note that this particular store in the chain was closing down and they happened to be discounting most of their stock, I was looking closely at what was left and any discounts they were listing for certain wines. There were a few that I knew I wanted to pick up, especially at some of those discounted prices, so I was very carefully looking things over. No easy task mind you as the place was mobbed on the opening day of their sale.
I did find a few of my favorites and felt good about my purchases, SO FAR! Then I started to look for particularly deep discounted wines with, as you might guess knowing me as well as I do, outstanding reviews and scores. This was a bigger challenge as most red wines were already sold out or were the very high-end assortment.
Never steering away from the whites, I thought that this group could yield a few gems. I found a nice Spanish Godello, a Sancerre from a particularly good producer I know and this weeks wine. What struck me was the wine had garnered a 95 Point Review from both Wine Advocate and another reviewer I can't name as I don't have the rights to use their reviews. But it also gained 92 Points from both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.
BUT the biggest reason for buying was the $30 price tag. Not cheap, but given it's $42 regular price, an almost 30% discount, for me it was, as they say, a no-brainer.
So on a particular evening, and with some really nice salmon to whip up, I decided it was time to pop the cork, oops, I mean twist the cap. Being from New Zealand, yes New Zealand, (and more on that) would explain the use of twist off cap versus cork as wines from there are over 90% sealed with twist offs.
Won't bore you with the meal as the real highlight was overwhelmingly the wine. No sooner had I removed the cap than I was hit with this beautiful aroma emanating from my glass. Without even sipping the wine, I knew this was going to be special. The flavors were marvelous. Balanced and bringing forth a creamy and only a slight butterscotch note. Finishing with nice acidity and a certain minerality that lasted for what seemed hours (okay, that's a stretch but you get the idea). It was hard to put down.
Interestingly, (or maybe not if you don't care what I think, in which case why are you reading this) I have gone through a love/hate relationship with Chardonnay through my wine life. Loved it for a while, then hated, now back to loving it, especially the RIGHT Chardonnay. This was the RIGHT Chardonnay.
What makes this even more, shall I say again, interesting, is that this wine did come from New Zealand. Moreover, from one of the most Northern parts of the Northern Island, Aukland. Not a big wine region. Kumeu River pretty much specializes in Chardonnay. I think they have a Pinot Gris out there as well. I can tell you this is a winery I'm keeping my eyes on.
Interested? There are still a few bottles out there at a shop, no longer in Naperville, that has a few remaining. I know I plan on driving and getting a few more, although I hate to pay $42 when I only paid $30 the first time. Oh well, that's the price of truly great quality in this case.