Australian Chardonnay is probably the wine style that has changed most in the last decade. The best examples are totally brilliant, and while I still have a nostalgic fondness for the big bad-assed rich examples of the past, the new super-lean Chardonnays with their mineral tension are just so good. Aussie Chardonnay went on a diet and took up running, and it looks better for it. Here are two good-uns, recently drunk.
Oakridge 864 Chardonnay 2008 Yarra Valley, Australia
From the Van der Meulen vineyard, dry grown, near Seville, cropped at 5 tons/hectare on red volcanic soils. There’s a mineral, spice and matchstick edge to the precise pear and white peach nose. The palate is complex, powerful and quite mineral with fig, toast and nut complexity as well as lively citrus fruit. Complex and fine, this is quite amazing. 95/100 (£31.99 Hard to Fine Wines)
Yalumba Chardonnay FDW (7c) 2011 Adelaide Hills, Australia
There’s a hint of mineral matchstick on the nose, which is very pure with grapefruit and lemon notes. Lovely palate with some rounded pear and white peach fruit, as well as nuttiness, but lemon dominates. Real restraint here: fine, fresh and pure, finishing with some pithy notes. 92/100
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