Posts Tagged ‘Chardonnay’

Montvalley Chardonnay 2010Montvalley Chard

Style: Oaked, dry white

Region: Hunter Valley, NSW

Tasting note: Nice, toasty French oak on the nose intermingles with stone fruit. Peach and nectarine on the palate with citrus lingering in the background, quite rich and bold with well integrated oak.

Final Say: Classic Hunter Valley Chardy. $19.99

Score: 16.5 out of 20

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Spitting: OptionalShadowfax

Shadowfax Chardonnay 2012

Style: Oaked, dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Geelong, VIC

 

Overview Nothing speaks of class like an elegant, cool climate Chardonnay. Gone are the days of over oaked wines that have been malo’d to within an inch of their lives. There is still the occasional punter that cries out for a buttery, oaky Chardonnay but slowly but surely winemakers are moving away from this style as it does not represent Chardonnay as much as it does new oak and malolactic fermentation. Geelong is quick becoming the next best thing in terms of Chardonnay and Shadowfax have always been on the ball in using fruit from great Victorian regions and making damn good wine. This wine is Chardonnay through and through, the oak is subtle and fruit elegant and structured.

 

Tasting note: Grapefruit aromas with a flinty edge and just a touch of toasty oak. The stone fruit on the palate is rich yet elegant, steely with a zippy citrus backbone and finishes with a lovely texture.

 

Final Say: Definitely a food wine. $25-$30 a bottle.

 

Score: 17.5 out of 20

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Oakridge 864 Charlie's Block

Spitting: Optional

Region: Yarra Valley, Victoria  

 

Overview: Chard freaks and pinophiles all love the Yarra Valley, the self-proclaimed Burgundy of Australia. During a recent visit to the Yarra I found the diversity in Chardonnay styles quite impressive. Thus I have compiled a list that could be seen as a veritable best of the best of Yarra Valley Chardonnay (that is if anyone takes what I write to be serious of course).

Tasting notes:

 

Innocent Bystander Chardonnay 2011: A fresh, uncomplicated Chardonnay that displays nice stone fruit characters and subtle oak. A good every day Chardonnay.

Score: 16/20

$20/bottle

 

Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: A complex, flinty nose with a party-in-your-mouth palate of nectarine, peach, underlying citrus and lovely oak tones.

Score: 18/20

$40/bottle

 

Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: A more restrained style, toasty oak and citrus on the nose. Elegant grapefruit characters, mouth filling and classy.

Score: 17.5/20

$40/bottle

Colstream Hills Chardonnay 2011: Nice stone fruit on the nose supported by subtle oak, lingering grapefruit on the palate and great acidity.

Score: 17.5/20

$35/bottle

 

Coldstream Hills Deer Farm Chardonnay 2011: Flinty, toasty nose with a fantastic minerality, citrus and stone fruit with a great, creamy mouth feel.

Score: 18/20

$45/bottle

 

Coldstream Hills Rising Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: Awesome nose (the wine not mine) complex notes of struck match with a fresh palate of honeydew melon and citrus. Well integrated oak and great acidity.

Score: 18/20

$45/bottle

 

Yeringberg Chardonnay 2011: Toasty nose with a salty, austere palate with nectarine characters, zippy citrus and lingering finish.

Score: 18.5/20

$50/bottle

 

Yeringberg Chardonnay 2009: Oak more evident on the nose, toasty and nutty with a creamy mouth feel and grapefruit flavours.

Score: 18/20

$60/bottle

 

Oakridge 864 Charlie’s Block Chardonnay 2011: This wine displays layers of complexity, subtle, complex sulphides, toasty oak, elegant minerality, grapefruit and nutty characters. A real winner, probably my favourite overall.

Score: 18.5/20

$72/bottle

 

Oakridge Denton Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: So funky this wine could play jazz sax, flinty nose, citrus and white-fleshed nectarine characters with a fresh, clean acidity.

Score: 18/20

$38/bottle

 

 

Oakridge Guerin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011: More Chablis in style, restrained citrus and grapefruit with a mouth-watering minerality.

Score: 17.5/20

$38/bottle

 

Final Say: Sorry pinophiles, Chard freaks won this week.

 

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

 

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De Bortoli Windy Peak Chardonnay 2011

Vintage: 2011

Style: Dry, oaked white

Country: Australia 

Region: Yarra Valley 

Overview:

A little goes a long, long way. Less is more. Brilliance in simplicity. KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. This wine shows the truth in all these sayings. We all know that the more we try to dress something up the worse it can end up. The same can be said about winemaking. If you have great fruit then you don’t have to do much to it to make a great wine. Each time a winemaker practices a winemaking technique like oak contact or lees stirring etc it effects the natural fruit of a wine. This wine has just enough oak to give it complexity and just enough minerality to make it elegant. The key word is balance. This wine stands in the middle of the see-saw without tipping too far over into either side.

Are we seeing a resurgence in popularity of Chardonnay? To an extent yes but I do not believe that Chardonnay will ever steal the top spot from varieties like Sauvignon Blanc. This is not a bad thing. You see, Chardonnay is a diverse variety and echoes climate and winemaking more so than those simple fruit-driven styles which means each Chardonnay you drink will be different. This is great for serious wine drinkers but for those drinkers who like Sauv Blanc like the fact that they can buy two different Sauv Blanc’s and they will display similar characters. What is great to know is that there are wines like this one that are priced to appeal to a wider market  and show how great Chardonnay can be without costing the earth.

Tasting note:

            Freshly cut grapefruit aromas mingle with subtle, toasty oak. Nice level of ripeness on the palate, peach, grapefruit and honeydew melon with a lingering saltiness. Clean and fresh.

 

Final Say: Great value, great wine. A steal at $14, on special it gets as low as $11.

 

Score: 17 out of 20

 

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Jack Davis

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Yalumba FDW [7c] Chardonnay 2008

Vintage: 2008

Style: Dry white

Country: Australia

Region: Adelaide Hills

 

Overview: Some brands suffer from the opinion that they are ‘too commercial’, brands like Rosemount, Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Yalumba just to name a few. These brands may have a larger, commercial presence but they have all originated from humble beginnings and while ranges like Rosemount Diamond Label, Jacob’s Creek Regional Collection, Wolf Blass Red & Yellow Label, Penfolds Koonunga Hill and Yalumba Y Series seem to dominate bottleshop shelves it is easy to forget that these brands also produce some of the best ‘premium’ Australian wines in Australia as well. Case in point, Rosemount Show Reserve, Jacob’s Creek Steingarten, St Hugo and Johann, Wolf Blass Grey Label, Penfolds Bin Series and Grange and Yalumba have the FDW [7c] and a range of other wines e.g. the Octavius that keep them in favour with those who drink these wines.

Back in the early days of Australian wine production Chardonnay was often labelled as ‘Dry White’, the FDW stands for Fine Dry White, paying homage to those days. The 7c is Yalumba’s coding for the batch of Chardonnay used to make this fine wine.

 

Tasting note: A flinty nose, steely with a hint of struck match (struck match is a character that comes from complex sulphides; we’ll delve into that another day). The palate is of rich stonefruit, white nectarine almost bordering on peach. The oak is subtle and well integrated, neither overpowering nor lost in the fruit.

Final Say: A great wine to rekindle your love with a brand you may believe is ‘too commercial’. It sells for between $22-$27 and would love to compliment a cream based chicken dish.

Score: 17.5 out of 20 (88 out of 100) Freakin’ Awesome

 

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Jack Davis

First Drop Mere-et-fils Chardonnay 2010

By Spitting: Optional

Variety: Chardonnay

Region: Adelaide Hills, Australia  

          Overview: At the same time as paying a homage to the Chardonnay regions of France (Chablis and Burgundy) it also sticks it’s middle finger up at then and blows raspberries at them. Its label takes inspiration from the understated France labelling system but adds all those confusing terms that the French love to use. For instance in place of the term appellation controllée (which means the wine comes from a controlled region that is known for producing a certain variety eg, a Chardonnay from Chablis would be able to use the term appellation controllée) the clever fellows at First Drop have used the term appellation non controllé (which means the wine comes from a non controlled area for the variety). Unlike France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany, all major countries that have been making wine for far longer than Australia, Australia has no policing of what is produced where, this means that a region that is not known for producing Chardonnay eg. McLaren Vale, can still produce a Chardonnay and sell it as a ‘Premium’ wine. Whereas in France if a region like Rhone Valley produced a Chardonnay they would only be able to release it under the quality status of vin de pays, a table wine of a region that does not normally grow this variety. The back label of this wine is spliced with French and English terms that only people with intimate knowledge of the industry would find humorous.

            Tasting Notes: The colour is what initially impressed me with its vibrant, pale lemon. Yes I am aware that it sounds strange to be getting so excited over a wine’s colour but the colour of the wine can tell you a lot about the wine itself. On the nose the vanillin oak and brioche characters dominate, these characters follow onto the palate and are joined with flavours of peach, minerality, a lovely toastiness, citrus and a balanced acid.

Final Say: This wine is an elegant style of Chardonnay, not over oaked and the fruit balance is perfect. I’ve been told by the supplier that only a small amount of this wine was made and after looking around I only found it at one website for $25 a bottle, I got mine for $18.99 a bottle but most sellers have sold out of it by now so if you have it in your cellar as I do then you are one lucky sucker.

Score: 17.5 Freakin’ awesome (88 out of 100).

For any questions or feedback feel free to email me on spittingoptional@gmail.com

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Jack Davis

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