World famous and strangely controversial, Chardonnay probably elicits more reactions (both good and bad) than any other grape variety we have in the shop. Many people got turned off Chardonnay when you couldn’t move for over-oaked Aussie Chardonnay during the 80s and 90s. However, for those that have stuck with it, there’s far more to this grape than the mouthful of mass produced, slightly cloying plonk that was everywhere 20 or so years ago. Indeed, Chardonnay can be sublime and many of the classiest bottles are to be found in Burgundy. Take Chablis, for example, where the grape gives a wonderfully clean, citrusy, mineral mouthful. Move further south to the Cote d’Or and (depending on where you are) you can experience it as a creamy, nutty, lemon and lime confection. And leave France and you can find great examples from California, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and yes, Australia, all with their own distinct characteristics. And if that’s not enough, there’s always Chardonnay’s starring role in Champagne!
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