Kumeu River Chardonnay, Maté’s Vineyard, Kumeu – 2020 – Vinous – 97 Points
This appears to have gone on a yoga retreat in 2020: not only is its usual powerful self, but it’s remarkably zen too, exuding a sense of calmness. It is full-bodied, round and offers fruit ripeness, but the propensity of the Mendoza clone to hen-and-chicks means that it retains a sense of nerve, with powerful citrusy acidity providing the needle that pulls a tight thread through this wine’s core. The 2020 is still far too young, and it is aromatically shy, but even in its full mature glory, it won’t exhibit aromatic fireworks – nor should it. This is Chardonnay. Okay, you might detect lemon and limes, white flowers and just-ripe white nectarine, with 30% new oak imbuing an additional layer of savoriness, but when it comes down to it, this wine’s trump card is in its shape, texture and persistence.