Chardonnay – better with or without Viognier?

Is the best-known white wine grape in the world improved with a dollop of Viognier? Not necessarily, although the results can be interesting…

Miguel Torres Cordillera Chardonnay 2008, Curico, Chile (£9.99 Grapevine, Nicholas Corke Fine Wines, Roberts & Speight)
(15% Viognier in the blend) Gentle citrus, just-ripe peach and pear, it’s the crisp Chardonnay that is to the fore, with the Viognier just adding some plumpness. Good seafood wine with a slightly nutty finish. B

Houghton “The Bandit” Chardonnay/Viognier 2008, Western Australia (£8.99 – available in the UK from Feb 2010)
Fuller, fatter and nuttier than the Torres, with the fleshy apricot edge of Viognier more prominent. But despite the rich peachy flavour, and the hints of butter and toasty oak, it’s still not TOO big, and your mouth is left entertained rather than overwhelmed. B+

Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2007, Casablanca, Chile (£10.99 Tesco, Waitrose)
Quite big, fat and oily style, lots of tropical fruit cocktail flesh, big and buxom, tasty and does have a backbone of acidity but lacks subtlety. B

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2007, Margaret River, Western Australia (~£19 Domaine Direct, Beaconsfield Wine Cellars, Bentley’s Wine Merchants, Five Reasons Wine, Four Walls, Harrods, Highbury Vintners, John Gordons, Philglas & Swiggot, Richard Kihl, Theatre of Wine, Uncorked, Wimbledon Wine Cellar, Winedirect)
Classy wine, with an almost Mâcon style apple crumble and cream edge, and a gentle nutty edge to the tangy guava and citrus fruit. Holding it all togather is a thread of minerality and acidity, which keeps everything fresh, and should also prerserve it for another 3-4 years in the bottle should you witsh to keep it. S(-).

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5 thoughts on “Chardonnay – better with or without Viognier?

  • Alex

    Another one to watch out for is Battle of Bosworth Chardonnay Viognier from Australia’s McLaren Vale. Not sure if you can get it in the UK (you can certainly buy some of their other wines) but it’s also interesting and is just 10% abv (with a very full mouth feel).

  • Louise H-Smith

    Bottle of 2008 Battle of Bosworth Chardonnay Viognier on its way to you Simon for consideration – along with some other BoB goodies. Not sure if before of after Christmas. Cheers