A tasting of new world Chardonnay. Change of Plan suggested

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Keith Prothero, May 12, 2018.

  1. 7E31613C-C4F2-4C42-8CDD-7786BC192645.jpeg Notes will be available soon but thought some maybe interested in this

    The line up of wine tasted at lunch yesterday. 6 experienced tasters of which 5 were professionals. All wines tasted blind and not revealed till end of lunch. Each taster before the reveal advised their 6 favourite wines.
    Total votes for each wine were
    Giaconda 5 first place and one second
    Brokenwood 4 second place and 2 third
    Rhys 1 first 2 second ,2 third and 1 fifth
    Flametree 1 third 2 fourth 1 fifth and 1 sixth
    Littorai 2 fourth 2 fifth 1 sixth
    Kumeu 1 third 1. Fifth 2 sixth
    Kutch 1 fourth and 1 sixth
    Bindi 1 fourth
    Paul Lato 1 sixth
  2. Add the prices! ;-)
  3. Brokenwood about £30 so QPR wine of the day. Giaconda and Rhys close to £100 but worth it when you consider the price of average burgundy nowadays . Flametree and Kumeu also about £30 and Littorai £75
  4. Beechworth - Giaconda and Brokenwood (?) The former being my favourite New World Chardonnay. So no surprise about the results for me.
  5. Yes agreed Johnny although I am only half way through my tasting of likely candidates . It’s a fairly expensive exercise but very interesting . The joke is I am not a big fan of Chardonnay much preferring Chenin based blends , Riesling and Bordeaux blends

    Guess that’s why I think the price of quality white burgundy is outrageous and hence the reason to consider new world alternatives
    Andrew Stevenson likes this.
  6. The problem with white burgundy is that the general standard is so very low so that as soon as someone comes along who can make reliably good wines the price quickly becomes astronomical. White burgundy can be a uniquely thrilling (though ultimately one dimensional) experience, hence people's willingness to pay.
    It has long seemed to me that the very same principles which have contributed to an undoubted huge rise in standards for the red wines of the region have to a large extent been responsible for the decline in whites, which in the past have thrived on high yields, unripe grapes and not particularly careful winemaking. The demands of chardonnay have nothing whatever to do with those of pinot noir but it has largely been the same people who make both. I think standards in white are at the moment possibly the worst they have ever been.
    Ian Black and Keith Prothero like this.
  7. How about Aligoté, Tom?
  8. I rarely by a producer who equally splits their efforts between red & white burgundy. There’s plenty of truth in the maxim jack of all trades, master of none.
    Happy to make an exception with Jadot.
  9. Perhaps some dissatisfaction with chardonnay is pushing the current revival. People are certainly making more effort. It shares with chardonnay the need for its inherent coarseness to be suppressed.
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  10. Except that most domaines best known for their whites actually make as much red, which is often better.
  11. Dujac seems to be good at both (not saying this to contradict anyone, BTW!)
  12. Obviously, the big advantage of many New World Chardonnays is that they can age without fear of premox (not bloody premix!*) I guess the screw caps have something to do with this.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any WB under screwcap, though. All mine are under (to express an opinion) damned corks. Any experience of SCed WB?

    *Bloody spell checkers
  13. Keith I can’t see from the photo which Brokenwood Chardonnay was tasted. Can you please confirm?
  14. Indigo vineyard Beechworth. Interesting that the only two Beechworth came first and second. Mind you I am only half way through my wines. Bloody expensive exercise I can tell you :)
    Look out for comprehensive notes from Roger Jones on the Buyer on line magazine
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  15. I thoroughly recommend Luke Lambert Chardonnay from Yarra Valley (the non crudo selection).
    Keith Prothero likes this.
  16. I have had some imported into Australia with screwcaps. The few I have had have generally been good, usually I gave them a decant just to loosen them up a little. Have only seen this in the last couple of years so no idea regarding ageing. However, I have had plenty of rieslings under screwcap which have aged beautifully.


  17. I was talking online with a producer of Chardonnay (and Pinot) from Mornington Peninsula - David Lloyd of Eldridge Estate. He said that he could sell all his production in Australia so couldn't see much point in exporting. So I would guess that some of the best stuff never makes it over here.

    A shame. Are there any businesses set up to do occasional shipping of wine from Aus to UK to make it viable to get some here without the assistance of the winery?

    (Actually ignore that, they do have a merchant who ships to the UK. Expensive, although possibly the resulting all-in price of about £45/bottle isn't ridiculous when compared to the competition)
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  18. Not sure that Eldridge are that special, at least it’s not rated as highly as some others . The one I like that is available here , is another Beechworth wine ,Sorrenberg and that will no doubt be included in the second elimination lunch :)
  19. Sure, it’s just one that I quite like that is (was?) quite affordable. I preferred it to Leeuwin but haven’t had the Brokenwood or Giaconda.
  20. I’ve not encountered a better new world Chardonnay than the By Farr Côte Vineyard GC. Not sure if it’s on your radar Keith, and appreciate you can only audition so many, but it is definitely something I’d be confident putting up against the very best from Burgundy.
  21. Where are you finding that Keith? The '96 was a favourite of mine years back but haven't tasted anything more recent :(
  22. From a FB source Lionel. Will let you know the name of the merchant soon . They only have the 2016 vintage but not many in stock.
  23. Keith. Hope you have Oakridge 864 series (Yarra Valley) and Voyager Estate from Margaret River. ;)

    I've never been wowed by LEASC. Sacrilegious, I know! Smallish sample size, though.
  24. The former is unavailable here and that is one of the conditions. The latter is not quite good enough :)
  25. Poor Keith is on a bit of a hiding to nothing trying to select a doz or so contenders from many thousands of possibilities. He can only really choose from wines that are readily available where he is buying them, which may not always be the best a country produces. The really good stuff often doesn't leave its country of origin.

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