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2007 Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 

Kumeu, New Zealand / $18 Retail

Influenced by France's white Burgundys, this Chardonnay from a highly regarded vintner is an excellent value. The Kumeu district lies northwest of the larger Auckland region on New Zealand's north island, an ideal location to craft a wine that blossoms with only minimal exposure to French barriques. In the glass, aromas of stone fruits and apple with some melon notes are followed by citrus, hints of flint and a crisp, refreshing finish. Sip it solo or pair it with seafood, white meats, cream-based soups and soft cheeses. Buy it at: Dorignac's. Drink it at: Le Meritage, Emeril's Delmonico, Martinique Bistro, Helix Restaurant and Wine Bar and New City Grille. — Brenda Maitland

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