I recently enjoyed a quick single-blind tasting of Chardonnays at PWS that threw 7 surprises back in my face. Couple of points though before the tasting notes. Firstly, I figured that the screwcaps would be the Aus/NZ wines, and that was hard to ignore when I was scribbling my notes. Secondly, a wine I had previously enjoyed a lot ended up being my last-placed pick (but that isn’t saying it’s not a good wine!). Lastly, I only spent 1-2 minutes on each wine as I was in a rush to head to the markets. The full list of the wines is at the end.
Clear, pale lemon colour. Med+ youthful aromas of crushed lemon and peach, almost talc-like in nature. Med+ bodied wine with high acidity, flavours of waxy lemon, unripe apricot and touch of minerality. Overall good balance, well-rounded but simple finish. 88/100.
Guessed: La Chantemerle Chablis 2009
Answer: Littorai Thierot Vineyard Chardonnay
Clear, very pale golden colour. Light youthful aromas of white florals and pink guava. Rather simplistic. Linear wine with simple peachy fruit, but acidity is balanced, not floppy. 88/100.
Guessed: Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2008
Answer: A Rodda Beechworth Chardonnay 2010
Clear, pale straw golden. Lifted youthful nose, soft lemon talc, slightly nutty (some oak treatment?). A broad palate, lvely lemon fruit flavours with peach skin. Focussed and fresh with balanced acidity. 91+/100.
Guessed: Littorai Thierot Vineyard Chardonnay 2009
Answer: Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Champs Gain 2009
Clear, pale lemon gold colour. Youthful, vibrant nose with aromas of freshly squeezed lemon, soft talc, layered with crushed herbs. Plenty of rich, waxy lemon fruit that gently sweeps in layers. Lots of cleansing acidity, a well balanced wine. 92/100.
Guessed: A Rodda Beechworth Chardonnay 2010
Answer: Toolangi Reserve Chardonnay 2007
Clear, very pale lemon with a green tinge. Med+ youthful floral notes, dry minerality and lemon fruit. A bit of a light weight perhaps? There is clean, honeyed lemon flavours balanced with crisp acidity that linger on the mid to back palate. Pleasure to drink, well-crafted. 92/100.
Guessed: Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Champs Gain 2009
Answer: La Chantemerle Chablis 2009
A clear, pale straw colour. A forward nose with abundant lemon and rock melon notes. Rich lime/lemon flavours balanced by nice acidity but it lacks the freshness on the finish. 89/100.
Guessed: Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Chardonnay 2009
Answer: Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2008
Pale straw colour with a shade of green. Different nose stylistically from the rest. White florals, green mango, ripening pineapple(odd?). Robust flavours of pink grapefruit, stone fruit and some sensation of chewy toast. Balanced med+ acidity. Long clean finish. 91/100.
Guessed: Toolangi Reserve Chardonnay 2007
Answer: Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Chardonnay 2009
The list of wines (by price)
A Rodda Beechworth Chardonnay 2010, Beechworth, VIC ($40) 88/100
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2008, Auckland, NZ ($40) 89/100
La Chantemerle Chablis, Burgundy 2009 ($45) 92/100
Littorai Thierot Vineyard Chardonnay 2009, Sonoma Coast, CA, USA ($95) 88/100
Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Chardonnnay 2009, Mornington Peninsula, VIC ($60) 91/100
Toolangi Reserve Chardonnay 2007, Yarra Valley, VIC ($75) 92/100
Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Champs Gain 2009, Cotes de Beaune, Burgundy ($110) 91+/100