Easy to grow, easy to vinify, easy to pronounce and easy to drink; Chardonnay is one of the world's most widely grown grapes and arguably the most versatile.
From cool-climate fizz, to oaky sunshine-in-a-glass, it is made into a range of styles; its spiritual home is Burgundy where it makes complex, elegant food-friendly wines with, at most, moderate oaking.
Western Australia has been called the new New World, but has something of an Old World restraint and balance, with sea breezes on two sides. Its Chardonnays are distinctly Burgundian.
Mâcon Uchizy, Mallory & Benjamin Talmard 2019 (£14.85)
At the south of Burgundy, Macon is the George Harrison of the region, often overshadowed by more northerly appellations and therefore proving excellent value compared to the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. 2019 was a great year for wines giving more concentration and intensity.
Floral with acacia and orchard fruits; ripe white stone fruit, ripe and supple yet fresh with sweet spices and savouriness and white pepper on the finish; saline-mineral; full, concentrated and supple; Lively and adept.
Match with roast white meats, cheese or seafood.
2019 Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay (£14.99–17.99 Majestic, Specialist Cellars, Aus Wines Online)
The natural freshness of Margaret River stands out. Ample sunshine and strong daily sea breezes preserve the vibrant fruit notes and acidity. The fruit for Filius Chardonnay is selected from multiple clones and sites that produce elegant, lighter fruit flavours and it’s this style of fruit from these patches of the vineyard that makes the finesse of this wine harmonious. The result is a fine Chardonnay with a clean bright palate, gently softened texture and delicate balanced creaminess.
Orchard fruits, honeysuckle and and complex toasty-oaky spices; beeswax, pineapple, lemon sherbet and ginger with citrussy freshness and lime marmalade zest plus savoury-buttery-oatmealy leesiness. Ripe yet taut, full yet linear.
Enjoy with or without food. Pair with summer salads, white fish, seafood, creamy pasta and roast chicken. Perfect for summer grazing and al fresco dining.
Further notes from Vasse Felix:
All Vasse Felix wines, from vine to bottle, are controlled within the estate. The fruit is chosen from Vasse Felix’s four vineyards where each site is planted with the best suited grape variety and clone to correspond with the unique topography and micro-climates of each block. Virginia Willcock, one of the most awarded winemakers in Australia, adopts a 'hands-off' approach in order to capture the flavours and qualities found in the vineyards. The grapes are harvested, fermented and matured in small, separate parcels before each barrel is graded and blended for the final wine. The land is farmed using traditional and organic (NASAA Organic Certified) and by nurturing the soils, achieve better health and balance and ultimately higher quality fruit.
Further notes from Private Cellar:With all 30 hectares planted out to Chardonnay, it would be easy to imagine that Mallory and Benjamin Talmard might become a touch habituated to one style of wine but, instead, they celebrate the differences between their crus, which perfectly illustrate the importance of soil. Their Mâcon Uchizy comes from limestone rich soils, giving it immense poise and elegance with a lovely lovely citrus thread running through it. Superb in magnum as well.