jamie goode's wine blog: A dodgy Chardonnay, and a nice one

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A dodgy Chardonnay, and a nice one

Two more Chardon-
nays, one bad, one good value.
Bridgewater Mill Chardonnay 2002 South Australia
Combining fruit from Petaluma’s vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra and Clare Valley, this is a Chardonnay that has seen better days. Beautiful quality cork, though. A full yellow colour, it has a rather off-putting nose that combines buttery richness with a tinned pea/herbal character. The palate is equally uninviting, with some disjointed alcohol, bitter herbs and the beginnings of an oxidative honeyed and appley character. It’s not undrinkable by any stretch of the imagination - I mean, it won't kill you, and it has some alcohol to numb the pain - but it doesn’t offer pleasure, and should have been drunk a few years ago. OK 74/100 (in the Bibendum sale, http://www.bibendum.co.uk/, but even at £4.28 this is a pass)

Marks & Spencer Hunter Valley Chardonnay 2006 Australia
I really like this Hunter Chardonnay, which is made by Twin Wells. It combines the usual toasty, spicy, buttery richness of Chardonnay with a delightful citrussy freshness and a subtle warm herbiness. The oak is well in the background, and there’s a pronounced mineralic twang. The only slight negative is a subtle bitter character to the fruit on the finish, but this doesn’t detract too much from what’s a delicious wine. 13% alcohol. Very good+ 89/100 (£7.99 on offer at £5.99 7 March–9 April 2007, Marks & Spencer)

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