Drinking Outside The Box

With Simon Woods – wine for people who have a life

Chardonnay from France, Australia & New Zealand – and what happens when you blend Chablis and Mâcon? July 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm

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Louis Moreau Chablis 2008, Burgundy, France (£9.99 Marks & Spencer)
Has the lean, keen green apple backbone you expect of Chablis, along with a pleasant nutty character, but it lacks the substance to stand up to the structure. OK, but not fine. B(-)

Louis Latour Mâcon-Lugny 2009, Burgundy, France (£8.99 Majestic – £7.99 when you buy two bottles)
Has an exotic, almost Viognier-like peachiness, along with equally flesh notes of cream and hazelnuts. OK, but just a touch flabby – but blends rather nicely with the above Chablis! B-

Marquis de Pennautier Chardonnay ‘Terroirs d’Altitude’ 2008, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France (£8.99 Majestic)
Quite weighty melon, peach and tropical fruit flavour, along with a clean fresh finish but is spoileded by slightly crude toasty/sawdusty oak, which doesn’t seem to fade with time. B-

Crossroads Chardonnay 2008, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand (£9.50 Mentzendorff)
Rich, fleshy style, the fruit is nicely underplayed, blending to good effect with a complex mealy/yeasty edge from barrel-ageing, but just that bit too alcoholic for great success, with a slight butterscotch sweetness muddying the finish. B+

Botham Merrill Willis 25th Anniversary Chardonnay 2007, McLaren Vale/Coonawarra, Australia (£14.99 Christopher Piper – £2.50 from each bottle goes Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research)
Simple, honest rather old-fashioned style, with that oily, tinned pinepapple/fruit cocktail syrup edge, hints of cream and honeysuckle edge , it’s OK, but lacks both the intensity and complexity of the Crossroads. B-

You’ll see I’ve given all these five wines bronze medal marks. However, the Crossroads with B+ stands well above the others with B(-) and B-. Translating these into a 100-point scale, that’s 86, compared with 83 and 82. Feel free to leave comments on my marking system (bit more about it on this page). It works for me, but do others find it confusing?

Categorised in: Chablis, Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay, Languedoc, Maconnais, South Australia, Video, Wine Education

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