21/07/02 – Yangarra Park (Australia) Chardonnay 2001

Yangarra Park (Australia) Chardonnay 2001
Looking back through former wines of the week I realise that the last time I recommended an Australian Chardonnay was back in May 1999. For one of the UK’s most popular wine categories this is pretty astounding, but is partly explained by a certain over-familiarity with inexpensive, fruity, oaky Aussie Chardonnay, and a subsequent backlash against the style. Like many consumers, I have been looking for something a little bit different. In turn, The Australian industry has been toning its Chardonnay down, using less oak, and pulling back from the tropical, ‘fruit-bomb’ style. Now, some people think this has gone too far, and are actually looking for old-style Aussie sunshine in a glass. This wine, made by Californian giant Kendall-Jackson’s new baby in McLaren Vale, strikes a nice balance, with a nose offering lots of limpid, butterscotchy aromas, pure, but clean tropical fruit and a nice nutty undertone from French oak fermentation. On the palate it has a weighty texture, but quite a cool character with citrus freshness cutting through rich, ripe fruit and a mellow background of toasty oak into the clean finish. Welcome back Aussie Chardonnay! Waitrose 7.99.