You can impress guests at your next dinner party with this weeks Wine Of The Week Picks, from a beautiful Margaret River Chardonnay to a Tasmanian Blanc de Blanc.
Australian Chardonnay, the New Black – almost overnight, Australian Chardonnay has become cooler than cool – generations in the making, modern Australian chardonnay is phenomenally good (actually delicious is a better adjective) crisp, fresh and zesty like Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc but with more richness and textural interest. Well established wine regions nationally shine brightly – know your ABC –REGIONS: Adelaide Hills SA, Geelong VIC, Great Southern WA, Hunter Valley NSW, Margaret River WA, Macedon VIC, Mornington Peninsula VIC, Orange NSW, Tasmania, Tumbarumba NSW, Yarra Valley VIC BEST PLACE TO START: Margaret River WA (lots of flavour and creamy texture)
VALUE – Once & Well by Freya Hohnen, Margaret River WA Chardonnay
I defy any dyed-in-the-wool Marlborough savvy drinker to taste this and not be instantly converted to the charms of modern Australian Chardonnay. Intense aromas and lavours of citrus and creamy vanilla mango bavarois (I kid you not). The packaging is sublime. Not cheap, but at around $20 per bottle truly world-class Chardonnay value.
Modern Australian Chardonnay is restrained and crisp rather than oaky and buttery. Winemaking has evolved significantly since the 80s – if you crave a more traditional style try examples from South Africa, the USA and Chile (or Margaret River which offers similar rich flavour though with a little more finesse)
HIGH END – House of Arras Blanc de Blancs Tasmania Vintage 2005
Chardonnay can also be Sparkling! The Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay sparkling wine) style is all about pristine fruit and freshness. This Australian expression might appear expensive at around $60 per bottle but would leave many much more expensive examples with the Champagne brand for dead. This multi-award winner is world class and being over 10 years old is slowly (it still looks as fresh as a daisy) and gracefully ageing into a thing of beauty.
BLANC de BLANCS: Chardonnay is also one of the 3 permitted grapes of Champagne, usually blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to create the famous regional blend – however Blanc de Blancs indicates 100% Chardonnay, currently the most fashionable Champagne and methode traditionelle sparkling wine style internationally.
METHODE TRADITIONELLE: A term adopted internationally to indicate that the sparkling wine is produced in a style adopting similar production techniques (e.g. bottle-fermentation) and grapes as those found in Champagne.
Don’t forget this weeks picks are available from your local Dan Murphys!!!
by Arrnott Olssen
Editor Rogue Homm