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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Chardonnay Australia

Winner Details

New World: Chardonnay, Australia


2015: Gold 4 Silver 8 Bronze 5 Commended 8
2014: Gold 3 Silver 3 Bronze 3 Commended 6


The success story continues. Only four years ago, Australia’s Chardonnay performance in the Sommelier Wine Awards was limited to a couple of Golds and a handful of Bronzes. But since the Noo Roo style made itself felt, with elegance, complexity and texture trumping sheer size, it’s been one of the hottest parts of the competition. Not least in the way it’s re-energised the variety. Australia alone picked up more medals here this year than the whole New World Chardonnay category did as recently as 2010.

For commercial reasons, our tasters limited themselves to just four Golds here, but the swathe of brilliant Silvers (many of which could have picked up Golds on another day) shows you just how much seriously good Chardie is out there now in Australia. Terrific stuff!

From The Tasting Teams


‘I was impressed. Even at a lower price-point these wines delivered a good sense of place. They were not overworked and had freshness and beautiful concentration. They showed poise and balance.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

‘These restrained and sophisticated styles have really brought Aussie Chardonnay back to the market.’ Richard Brooks, Caroline Catering

‘I was absolutely amazed: they were clean, crisp, balanced, elegant – they were verging on perfection for me. These wines have minerality and elegance – we are not saying these words enough!’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group

‘Nice and fresh wines, some had really nice creamy texture, with appley fresh fruit, but good acidity. Not for American customers, perhaps, but for our market, very good wines and good value for money.’ Andrea Domenicucci, Whatley Manor

‘The danger is that some are so desperate to get away from the rich, oaked style that they risk dilution, but we rated them all very highly. Every wine in the flight was a food wine with lots of freshness.’ Richard Bampfield MW, team leader

‘This is a style that is going places. Food-wise, I’d pair them with creamier, richer fish and seafood dishes, risottos, and even asparagus.’
Michael Moore, Room 24

Award winners

Found 25 wines

New World: Chardonnay, Australia

Accolade Wines, Eileen Hardy, Chardonnay 2013, Tasmania/Yarra Valley, Australia

Gold medal winner

Richness and balance led Hardy's matriarchal wine to the top, gathering many a fan along the way. 'Citrus and cream, this is a very classy wine, both long and refined,' said team leader Richard Bampfield MW, tipping turbot with citrus sauce as the match of choice. ‘Great character, an all-day wine,’ agreed Michael Moore of Room 24.

£23.00 Matthew Clark

Brown Brothers, Limited Release, Chardonnay 2012, Victoria, Australia

Gold medal winner

‘Great example of Aussie Chardonnay,’ began team leader Jade Koch of this great-value Gold Lister, continuing: ‘Lovely, honeyed nose with butterscotch richness, the bright palate is a delight.’ ‘Easy and fresh, clean style, but with some intensity of flavours on the palate. Will suit a range of creamy dishes,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, with Bread Street Kitchen's Ram Chhetri suggesting pork belly and lemon roasted chicken.

£7.76 Bibendum

Hay Shed Hill, Pitchfork, Chardonnay 2014, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

A rich spectrum of fruit flavours, from melon to mango, pineapple to grapefruit, perfectly balanced with good acidity took Hay Shed Hill to the top. ‘Coconut, banana and tropical fruits on the nose, with good weight, supple acidity and a good length, lemony finish,’ said Luigi Buonanno of Bianco43. ‘Cooked golden apples on the nose with floral notes and touches of white pepper,’ added Caroline Brangé of 28°-50° Mayfair. Match with sushi, Chinese food and salads.

£7.95 Bancroft Wines

Fraser Gallop Estate, Parterre, Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

With a white Gold to match its Cabernet Gold, the judges felt this was a lovely expression of Chardonnay. ‘Compact and concentrated,’ began Hakkasan Group’s Christine Parkinson, continuing: ‘Lots of texture, layers of tropical fruit, spicy oak, quince, wet rocks and biscuit. Long, balanced and Burgundian. The new face of Margaret River.’ Match with salmon, cod, langoustine, fennel salad, smoked cod's roe... plenty to choose from!

£16.86 Bibendum

Ferngrove, Killerby, Chardonnay 2012, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Drinking well now, showing clean, fruit-driven tropical notes on the nose with honeydew and cantaloupe melon, and creamy, lactic secondary yeasty character,’ said team leader Olivier Marie, while Louise Gordon of Lime Wood Hotel noted: 'Earthy stone fruits with touches of brown spice and high acidity. Match with salt-baked bream.'

£14.90 Cockburn & Campbell

Voyager Estate, Chardonnay 2011, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Hakkasan Group’s Christine Parkinson found this ‘compact, with lovely acidity’, saying: ‘Fudge, lemon, chalky with tropical notes. Rich, slightly sweet notes, spicy with incense. Very rich style,' while Louise Gordon of Lime Wood Hotel noted: 'Herbaceousness and lovely florality. Good oak integration. match with turbot.'

£17.00 Justerini & Brooks

Stella Bella, Serie Luminosa, Chardonnay 2011, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Clean with great fruit concentration,’ said team leader Olivier Marie, adding: ‘Elegant style and poise, nice aromatics with judicious use of oak and pleasant, unforced minerality.’ 'Toast and apricots, with nutmeg and hints of fresh chilli, this has a long and spicy finish,' said Louise Gordon of Lime Wood Hotel. Match with chicken, veal, or pork.

£25.95 Alliance Wine

Cherubino, Margaret River Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Spicy and herbaceous, vanilla with apricot confit, this is big, with with well-integrated oak and a nice, long finish,' said Louise Gordon of Lime Wood Hotel. 'Very Meursault in style,' added team leader Andrea Briccarello, suggesting sole and sea bream as a match.

£23.44 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Penfolds, Bin 311, Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2013, New South Wales, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Great wine! Dense and layered, intense nose and palate, showing depth and mineral complexity. Lemon oil, apple and a whiff of oak spice along with some buttery notes. A wine built to last and improve,' said Athila Roos of The Arts Club. Team leader Richard Bampfield MW agreed: 'Nicely balanced, very Burgundian. A long wine, which seems very young.' We hope it will return!

£29.47 Bibendum

Giant Steps, Sexton Vineyard, Chardonnay 2013, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Some ripe, tropical fruit present, with great, clean length and good acid balance,’ began James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering adding: ‘Very appealing wine and a versatile food option.’

£14.63 Liberty Wines

Josef Chromy, Chardonnay 2013, Tasmania, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Excellent, with flinty, stony minerals and salty oyster notes on the finish,’ said team leader Andrea Briccarello, with Room 24’s Michael Moore adding: ‘Great drinking wine, but also with food such as risotto, fish ragout, or creamy sauces.’

£14.58 Bibendum

Dandelion Vineyards, Twilight of the Adelaide Hills, Chardonnay 2013, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Tropical, with good ripe pineapple and melon notes,’ began team leader Andrea Briccarello, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering adding: 'Clean and fresh style, with zingy acidity – an easy, pleasant wine.'

£7.50 Liberty Wines

Peter Lehmann, Hill & Valley, Chardonnay 2013, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Pretty nose with apple, a drizzle of lemon and a faint hint of lavender,’ began Athila Roos of The Arts Club, continuing: ‘The palate follows through with texture and oak spice. Vibrant and showing length.’ ‘Dover sole or monkfish,’ suggested Room 24’s Michael Moore.

£9.95 Liberty Wines

Langmeil, High Road, Chardonnay 2013, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Light on the nose but great taste, really a good, appetising food opener,’ said Michael Moore of Room 24. ‘Really nice, inviting nose, not too woody, with good freshness on the palate,’ agreed Andrea Domenicucci of Whatley Manor.

£9.15 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Innocent Bystander, Chardonnay 2013, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Classic buttered toast aromas, elegant, juicy and refreshing, with great fruit ripeness and vibrancy on the palate,’ said team leader Jade Koch, with Butlers Wharf Chop House's Mark Graham adding: ‘Stony, mineral complexity and good fruit. Cleansing on the palate.’

£10.35 Liberty Wines

Dalrymple, Cave Block, Chardonnay 2012, Tasmania, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Zingy style, lively fruit, this is a real mouthfiller, which would serve well as an aperitif or with white meats and salads,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. Team leader Jade Koch added: ‘Passion fruit and mango aromas, dry, oily citrus fruit on the palate.’

£16.61 Negociants

Tolpuddle Vineyard, Chardonnay 2013, Tasmania, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Subtle and honeyed, with white floral notes of blossom and narcissi, dry and zippy, full of energy,’ began team leader Jade Koch, with Mark Graham of Butlers Wharf Chop House adding: ‘Mellow, with good integration of fruit, citrus and minerals.’

£25.00 Liberty Wines

Magpie Estate, The Next Big Thing, Chardonnay 2014, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£7.25 Boutinot

Onannon, Gippsland Chardonnay 2012, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£21.75 Boutinot

Accolade Wines, Hardy's, HRB, Chardonnay 2012, Pemberton/Yarra Valley, Australia

Commended medal winner

£14.99 Matthew Clark

Vasse Felix, Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£15.44 Negociants

Hay Shed Hill, Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£12.95 Bancroft Wines

Larry Cherubino, Ad Hoc, Hen and Chicken, Chardonnay 2013, Pemberton, Western Australia , Australia

Commended medal winner

Rathbone, Yering Station Village, Chardonnay 2012, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.54 Bibendum

Shaw + Smith, M3, Chardonnay 2013, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£17.00 Liberty Wines

 

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