Chardonnay from Australia, France, South Africa & California

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2013, Adelaide Hills, Australia (£24.99 Majestic, Bentley’s Wine Merchants, CellarVie Wines, D Byrne & Co, Harrods, Leamington Wine Company, ND John Wine Merchants, Noel Young Wines,, Philglas & Swiggot, Provender Brown, Taylor’s Fine Wines, The Secret Cellar, Shills of Cockermouth,,
Initially shy but then this uncurls to show ripe apple, citrus and hazelnut flavours with a bready overtone underpinned by stony mineral notes. The combination of rich flavours and tense structure is great – currently a white for decanting, alternatively one with a very promising future. S+

McGuigan ‘The Shortlist’ Chardonnay 2011, Adelaide Hills, Australia (£13.97 Asda)
Combines rich, rounded ripe pineapple and honeysuckle flavours with crisper lemon and apple notes. Decent enough, but can’t seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be taut or fleshy. B(+)

Louis Latour Beaune Blanc 2012, Burgundy, France (£24.02 Spirited Wines)
Initially sleek and fresh, this opens up to show a slightly creamier side alongside the Grannie Smith apple flavours. There’s also a touch of reduction that adds a (nice) vegetal character. Good but maybe a little controlled. S-

Richard’s Elgin Chardonnay 2013, South Africa (£24.99 Naked Wines)
A very appealing mix of coolness and richness, with a definite herby whiff of dry Cape hillsides in among the floral apple and citrus flavours. It’s not afraid to be a little plump, nor to show off an almost creamy, smoky oak character, as it has the spine of zestiness to support it all. S

La Crema Chardonnay 2012, Sonoma Coast, California (£21.99 Yorkshire Vintners, The Wine Warehouse, Penistone Court Wine Cellar, Hailsham Cellars, Swift Wines, Bottle Stop, R Campbell and Sons, The Wine Library, Roberts and Speight)
Big, full, oaky, nutty and ripe, with lots of oily peach and pineapple flavour. Intense but lacks freshness – feels like last year’s wine… B-

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