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Saturday, 8 January 2022

The CWB Co-op Southern Hemisphere Chardonnay-Off

Two southern hemisphere Chardonnays from The Co-op

Oaky Chardonnay might be a bit Bridget Jones, but it is one of the world's great grape varieties and styles.

It all started with white Burgundy and Chardonnay's affinity to new oak; a relatively neutral grape, it is fresh, savoury and food-friendly when made in a cool-climate; oak-aging adds to the flavour profile and complexity.

The reason New World Chardonnay went out of fashion was more to do with too many overripe, over-oaked versions than any inherent weakness and, increasingly, the New World is making it in a cooler, more restrained, gently oaked Burgundian style.

Just without the price tag.

The Hidden Sea recycle 10 plastic bottles from oceans and rivers for every bottle of wine sold; if that isn't a reason to drink their wines, I don't know what is.

You won't find too much technical information about the wines on their website, but there's plenty about their ambition to remove plastic from the oceans and how they are going about it.

It may be something of a cliche but passion is the best brand.

Montes Reserva Chardonnay, Chile (£8)

ripe tropical pineapple and melon fruit, toasty vanilla oak and creamy brazil-nut savoury leesiness. Fresh and mineral; supple, harmonious and well-made.

Good and Good Value.

A versatile food wine, match with herby sausages, roast chicken or wiener schnitzel.

The Hidden Sea Chardonnay (£8)

aromatic floral with musky melonskin and some sweet spices; ripe peach and apricot with butterscotch, creamy brazil nut and a hint of toasty oak; fresh and saline-mineral with good savouriness. Very well made and harmonious.

Drinks well on first pouring and further improves with aeration.

Good and Good Value.

Another versatile food wine, match the freshness to cream cheese starters, white fish or plain roast white meats.

Where next?

If you like these wines and want dive deeper into Burgundian Chardonnay, look at:

The CWB International Chardonnay-Off - Chardies from all over the world: The Cambridge Wine Blogger: The CWB International Chardonnay-Off


Note on pricing:

The Montes Chardonnay is reduced from £8 to £7 until February 1st 2022.

Hidden Sea mission:

The Hidden Sea Chardonnay is part of The Co-op's vegan range and suitable for anyone doing Veganuary.

This is their story:

We exist for socially conscious consumers who love great tasting wine, and want to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. We remove and recycle 10 plastic bottles from oceans and rivers for every bottle of wine we sell.


Because we want to leave the world better than it was when we came in, and our wines carry a heritage born from the sea. 26 million years ago, South Australia’s incredible Limestone Coast was submerged by a vast ocean that was home to a thriving marine ecosystem.

A series of dramatic ice ages caused the ocean to recede, leaving the area rich with deep limestone deposits containing majestic marine fossils. Ancient mineralised relics, and an extensive museum of marine life, now lay buried beneath the alluvial soils of this World Heritage site.

One of these relics is the fossilised remains of an ancient whale which contributes to the rich, fertile soil in our vineyard. It also provides a natural and unique filtration system - perfect for growing the grapes that produce our award-winning wine.

So that’s our story.

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