The 2019 Hunting Hill is an absolute knockout. Pale lemon colour in the glass, it is initially tight and brooding, with flint, preserved lemons and fresh limes on the nose. With air is becomes expansive yet precise, with layers of toast, lime blossom, white peach and struck match. The palate is tightly coiled and youthful, but there is unparalleled density of fruit and real viscosity. Through the mid palate this bursts forth with powerful lemon peel and smoky yuzu. This is a vertical, driven wine at this stage, structured by steely acidity, but it flourishes towards the finish with waves of expansive fruit, spice and minerality. The finish is minutes long, further confirming the potential here. It should be given at least 12 months in bottle before approaching, but it will improve for a decade or more. An absolutely outstanding wine that may prove to be the best wine ever made at Kumeu River.
On a slope overlooking Maté's Vineyard. Replanted in 2000. Made in exactly the same way as Coddington but always a bit tenser.
High-toned, tight and very sophisticated. The sort of wine that demands comparison with fine white burgundy. Real integrity and depth. Dry (not sweet) and with light grip on the palate. You could drink this now but you shouldn't; it will so clearly improve, deepen in flavour while retaining its admirable structure and vitality. Much more 'mineral' than the Coddington. Real tingle here. I'm sure Michael Brajkovich won't thank me for the comparison but it does rather remind me in structure of one of Rafael Palacios's finest Valdeorras single-vineyard bottlings. (And those are the wines that remind me of a great Puligny …). Drink 2020 – 2034
The peach-inflected 2019 Hunting Hill Chardonnay is considerably plusher and more generous than the Coddington. Medium to full-bodied, the mouthfeel is welcoming and silky, the flavors ranging from yellow peach and grilled pineapple to toasted hazelnuts and even a touch of honey, balanced on the lengthy finish by bright citrus notes. 2021 - 2030.