Chardonnay of the World
This is the second in our exciting series of grape variety tastings showcasing some of the best examples across the world of wine of a given variety. On this evening, we will be tasting eight fantastic expressions of Chardonnay.
This is the most famous vine variety of all. So powerful is the C-word on a wine label that, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay has virtually no synonyms – although in Styria in southern Austria some winemakers persist with the tradition of calling it Morillon. In the 1980s something extremely important to the history of wine happened: 'Chardonnay' became a name more familiar to the world's wine buyers than any of the geographically-named wines this vine variety had for centuries produced, such as Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, or Montrachet. When the emerging New World wine industries introduced varietal labelling – calling wines by the name of their principal grape variety – it was Chardonnay that made the most friends.
The Chardonnay vine is nothing if not adaptable. Commercially acceptable Chardonnay can be produced in really quite hot wine regions such as the hot interiors of California, South Africa and Australia where clever winemaking can give it tropical fruit flavours and even some suggestion of oakiness, often using oak chips. In cooler wine regions such as Chablis, Carneros and Tasmania, on the other hand, it can produce apple-crisp juice which, in less ripe years, can have rapier-like acidity. The best examples can benefit from five or even more years in bottle to soften that acidity and develop rounder flavours to balance it – although less concentrated examples produced in cool years may simply taste even leaner as the bloom of youth fades.
Wines on Tasting:
Florent Rouve, AOC Arbois Chardonnay, Jura, 2018
Villa Maria, Taylor’s Pass Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2018
Ten Minutes by Tractor, Estate Chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula, Australia, 2020
Burgundy (Chablis) TBC
Domaine Larue, Le Trezin, AOC Puligny-Montrachet, 2018
South Africa TBC
South America TBC
Note - due to stock or vintage changes some wines may be substituted. This list is indicative of what may be on offer*