Thursday, May 26, 2011

Session 2 - Chardonnay - Round Up

As the world is focusing on the great varietal Chardonnay on International Chardonnay Day - 26th May 2011 - it seems timely to get this wrap from the 2nd Swirl, Sniff, Spit session.

The line up featured stellar examples and highlighted much that is right and good about Chardonnay.  All we needed was some Blanc de Blanc Champagne to round things off!

Pair 1
1. Stefano Lubiana Primavera 2010, Tasmania

Slatey, a nod of grapefruit.  But the magic happens with the taught line that just extends.....Many have Stefano Lubiana amongst the top tier of Australian Chardonnay producers, this showed why.

2. Christian Moreaux 2009, Chablis AC, France
Racy, balanced and exhibiting lemon with some flinty aroma and flavour.  Smooth, long and refreshing.

Pair 2
1. De Bortoli Reserve Chardonnay 2008, Yarra Valley, Australia @DeBortoliWines
No new oak, matured in four and five year old old oak.  Creamy, dairy, yoghurt - almost a touch of Cottage Cheese - from full malo.  Elegance and length.  Superb!

2. Eldridge Estate Estate Chardonnay 2008, Mornington Peninsula, Australia @EldridgeEstate
Pineapple, grapefruit and peach through the middle.  Comely, familiar yet not overworked.  Good presence of toasty oak, again not overdone.  Quality shining throughout.

Pair 3
1. Witches Falls Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2009, Granite Belt, Queensland, Australia @TheWineryWitch
Bouquet of melon and vanilla, oak here supports, not dominates the fruit.  Not quite as defined, giving glimpses of where it will be with further vine age.
2. BK Wines Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 2009, Adelaide Hills, Australia @BKWines
Wild yeast fermented in 50% new oak with leese stirring for 9 months.  Aromatic florals - very Adelaide Hills according to some attendees familiar.  Fruit is concentrated and powerful, peach leading a line with some supporting citrus.

Pair 4
1. Fraser Gallop Estate Chardonnay 2009, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia @FraserGallopEst
Lemony, buttery, peach.  It has it all but the fruit quality shines.  A backbone of acid keeps it all going and holds it in check.

2. Forrest Hill Estate Chardonnay 2009, Mount Barker, Western Australia @ForestHillWines
tight on opening, slowly unfurling to deliver typical stonefruit.  Represents its place well, cool climate acid presented with a driving line.  Length, impressive, extensive; the wine and the line.

Pair 5
1. Felton Road Chardonnay 2009, Central Otago, New Zealand @FeltonRoadWine
Toasty, nutty oak here.  It's a Chardonnay for those who want quality but want Chardonnay with all elements present. good texture, with some opening fink and grapefruit.

2. Man O' War Vineyard Valhalla Chardonnay 2009, Waiheke Island, New Zealand @ManOWarNZWine
Reductive on opening.  Shakes this sulphuric cloak off to deliver lovely minerality.  Taut and complex, struck match as mentioned.  Citrus and pear with nutty complexity.

Pair 6
1. Domaine Christian Moreau 1er Cru Chablis 2009
Very light, green tinged.  Oak present - barely.  Minerally lime, tart citrus.  Balance, elegance

2. Domaine Bouchard Per et Fils Beaune de Chateau 1er Cru 2009
Beautifully structured, with intense chalky minerality.  Comes from four different 1er Cru vineyards, where reds are the norm in Beaune.  Delicate ripe pineapple and citrus flavours.  Had me going "Wow, more please Vicar".

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