Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Richard, a friend of mine has said that a Wine Guy should write about Chardonnay. He obviously has a poor memory because in an earlier Post I wrote that the best Chardonnay I have ever tasted was a Montrachet and likened it to a Maserati Quattroporte - beautiful, stylish but very very expensive.
Richard, who almost single handedly keeps the Australian Chardonnay industry going, discovered Chardonnay when some wag told him there was a 'hardon' in every bottle. He took it literally and is still looking for it.
Chardonnay is rightly described as being one of the classic varietals, in the first division of wine (other team mates are Riesling, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc). Some fools have recently disparaged Chardonnay and coined the term ABC - Anything but Chardonnay. I think this must have been some Pinot Gris growers somehere. Chardonnay has so many different forms that one should never become tired of it, all one has to do is look at another style or country of origin.
I am in Australia at present and have attended a Wine Event where there were many styles of Chardonnay being shown - most of them very good. The stand-out was a very expensive 2005 Grand Cru Chablis from the Les Clos vineyard which has always been a favourite of mine. Good Chablis has a flintiness or minerality about it that gives it an interesting middle palate. The second most favoured Chardonnay amongst many from Australia, France and New Zealand was 2007 Man O' War Valhalla Chardonnay from Waiheke Island. This also had minerality which gave it an extra dimension - fruit, minerality and Oak in perfect proportion - Yum!