A serious Hungarian Chardonnay from Grof Buttler

I’m off to Hungary next week, so I thought this would be an appropriate time to blog about this rather stylish Hungarian Chardonnay. It’s from Grof Buttler, a producer I know little about, but which I’d like to know better. They are based in Eger, and their currently unreconstructed website is here.

Gróf Buttler Chardonnay 2009 [...]

Mountford Estate Chardonnay 2008, one of the highlights of today's NZ tasting

Spent a few hours at the New Zealand Wine Growers tasting today in London. It was great to see so many winemakers and punters there, but it did make it very hard to concentrate on tasting.

One of my highlights – and there were a few – was this Chardonnay from Mountford Estate in Waipara. They [...]

Two Californian Chardonnays

Californian wines are somewhat under-represented in the UK. Here are a couple of impressive Sonoma Chardonnays that I liked quite a bit, and which show restraint, balance and complexity.

Marimar Estate Son Miguel Vineyard Chardonnay ‘Acero’ Unoaked 2009 Russian River Valley, Sonoma
13.5% alcohol. Powerful and rich textured with pear and peach fruit as well as a [...]

Video: tasting three rather interesting Chardonnays

A short film of me tasting three interesting Chardonnays, two from Australia and one from South Africa.

Catching up with Yabby Lake

Caught up with Tom Carson today, over lunch with him and Robin Davis of SWIG. He’s winemaker at Mornington Peninsula winery Yabby Lake, which is one of Australia’s new stars. We looked at the 2009 releases, which is the second vintage Tom has made, and the first where he’s been involved all through the [...]

Kennedy Point Chardonnay from Waiheke Island

This is an interesting wine. You wouldn’t expect to find this in the UK, such is the small scale of its production, but Sam Harrop brought me back a bottle from a recent visit he made to New Zealand, which was very thoughtful of him.

It’s from Kennedy Point, in Waiheke Island – an interesting place [...]

A pair of Hamilton Russells

I’m a great fan of taking time to get to know wines. Most of the wines featured here on this blog have been drunk, as opposed to those brief sniff and slurp encounters that happen at large tastings – where the palate is often physically fatigued, and where there can be significant carry-over effects from [...]

A lovely white Burgundy from Sauzet

Sometimes the hierarchy of Burgundy vineyards can be a bit of a problem. It magnifies the label effect: when critics see the name Grand Cru on a label, it usually adds points to the score. It’s hard for them to break the hierarchy and give better scores to wines from more lowly vineyards. Here’s a [...]

Another great Kiwi Chardonnay: Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard

Following on from the spectacular Dog Point Chardonnay I reviewed a few days ago, here’s another superb New Zealand Chardonnay. It’s from Chardonnay experts Kumeu River in west Auckland.

Kumeu River Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Kumeu, Auckland, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. Taut, intense, citrussy nose with toast and herb notes. Very tight-wound with real focus. The palate [...]

Sensational Kiwi Chardonnay - Dog Point

Occasionally I taste a wine that takes me totally by surprise. Coming from celebrated Marlborough producer Dog Point, I was expecting this Chardonnay to be good. But not anywhere near this good.

Dog Point Chardonnay 2008 Marlborough, New Zealand
14.5% alcohol. Complex, beguiling, minerally, nutty, flinty nose with some richness but also lovely freshness. Concentrated, powerful palate [...]