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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Chardonnay Australia

Winner Details

New World: Chardonnay, Australia

2018 Gold 5       Silver 7                 Bronze 2             Commended 9
2017 Gold 5        Silver 7                Bronze 3             Commended 8

Seven or eight years ago we saw the first hints of the new leaner, more reductive style of Australian Chardonnay. Shortly after that, as with most body-shaping obsessives, some of them went too far, from lean to emaciated. But they’re in a far more balanced state now – mixing the high-intensity workouts with the odd biscuit and settling back into what seems to be a very good place.

The vast majority of our tasters very much enjoyed these wines – a winning combination of controlled, ripe fruit, minerally reduction and significantly better use of oak. The word ‘elegant’ came up over and over again.

Moreover, Australia seems able to do it time after time. The medal count has been consistently good for years, and it’s obvious that the Aussies are totally setting the pace with this style and this grape variety. If you had to pick a star region, Adelaide Hills (perhaps surprisingly) seems to be nosing slightly ahead of Margaret River.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘It’s amazing the change in direction that Australia has taken. Right the way through you see the direction and the drive. A lot were slightly reduced, but that’s a character that I really like in Chardonnay. The wine sings, the fruit sings. I’m very happy.’ Chris Delalonde MS, Bleeding Heart Group

‘I really liked the middle range. At that price the oak was well integrated with a good buttery character but nice fruit, too, and they finished fresh and mineral. The kind of guests we get at Chez Bruce are open to wines like this.’ Stefano Barbarino, Chez Bruce Restaurant

‘At the cheaper end, there was too much winery and not enough grapes, and at the higher prices they weren’t really giving enough.’ Euan McColm, Beaverbrooks

‘The focus wasn’t on sweet vanilla for once – it was structured oak, not overpowering oak. They had freshness, acidity and good winemaking.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader

Award winners

Found 23 wines

New World: Chardonnay, Australia

Sidewood, Mappinga, Chardonnay 2016, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

With its ‘chalky, floral, nutty’ aromas, this worthy Gold medal recipient was ‘elegant, with a charming delivery, freshness and drive’, began Chris Delalonde MS of Bleeding Heart Group, while Stefano Barbarino of Chez Bruce Restaurant admired its ‘beautiful nose that’s quite complex, buttery and ripe with apple and pear fruit’, further describing ‘a lovely creamy texture on the palate that is very well complemented by freshness, and a good option for cod or sea bass’.

£13.25 Davy's Wine Merchants

Larry Cherubino, Ad Hoc, Hen & Chicken, Chardonnay 2016, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

There was plenty of fruit and personality in this clear candidate for Gold, with team leader Nigel Lister noting ‘quince, pineapple, coconut and vanilla, and an exotically rich and creamy texture coupled with banana freshness and lees character’, while Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent picked up ‘nectarine intensity, vanilla, beeswax and peachy white chocolate cake’. Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, meanwhile, enjoyed ‘fresh almond notes with crisp minerality, crispy apples and complex oak on the finish’.

£13.29 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Shaw & Smith, M3, Chardonnay 2016, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

‘Fruity and mineral on the nose, and a little flinty with hints of gingerbread,’ began Simone Fadda of Roka Aldwych in praise of this Gold medal Chardonnay, also noting that it was ‘fresh and citrusy with grapefruit zest on the palate’, while Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS enjoyed its ‘chalk, yeast, apple and pear aromas with oak spices, complex expression on a dense, mineral palate with salty touches’ that will develop further with time.

£19.12 Liberty Wines

Fraser Gallop, Parterre, Chardonnay 2016, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

Ticking all the boxes for team leader Tom Forrest, and picking up a Gold medal in the process, this noteworthy Chardonnay showed ‘creamy vanilla oak and some stone fruit and orange aromas, with canteloupe melon and peach flavours on the palate balancing the oak in a rich and buttery style, with great balance and length’. Team leader Angela Reddin appreciated additional notes of ‘lemon posset, peach melba and crème brûlée, with some savoury notes, too’, and thought it had a ‘bright and fresh palate with clever oak use and a long, elegant finish’.

£17.89 Bibendum

Tapanappa, Tiers Vineyard, Chardonnay 2016, Piccadilly Valley, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

It was an impressed judging panel that elevated this Chardonnay to Gold, with its ‘struck match, smoky bacon nose, tahini and rich yellow orchard fruits, sappy acidity and elegance’, as team leader Nigel Lister put it, also noting that it was ‘young, but with great potential’. Meanwhile Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent found it ‘immensely intense, with ripe white fruits and botanicals, notes of dried banana, avocado and freshly baked cake, and with buttery notes and a good, elegant finish’.

£28.31 Mentzendorff & Co

Cape Barren, Native Goose, Chardonnay 2016, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

This was a firm favourite with Euan McColm of Beaverbrook, who liked its ‘grapefruit and gingernut biscuit aromas, supple and lively palate with well-integrated oak and lively, spicy, smoky finish’, while James Fryer of Woodhead 17 found a ‘slightly leesy, banana nose, notes of wheat and riper peach flesh in a broad style, some tautness and crunch’.

£12.58 CAPE BARREN WINES

Marchand & Burch, Chardonnay 2016, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Exciting and vibrant, great juice with citrus dinginess,’ began team leader Andrea Briccarello, with Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS finding ‘confit lemon, apple and tangerine, salty hints and oak on the nose, an unctuous and intense mid-palate, lifted by great acidity’.

£26.26 Enotria&Coe

Voyager Estate, Girt By Sea, Chardonnay 2016, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest enjoyed this Chardonnay’s ‘toasty oak aromas, melon and pineapple fruit with some mango, more toasted oak on the palate but freshness shining through’, with Antóin UáRuairc of UK Midland Sommelier Ltd finding it ‘intense, opening up well with very good length’.

£10.80 Great Wine Estates

Stefano Lubiana, Collina, Chardonnay 2013, Granton, Tasmania, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Rich and concentrated, with a wide range of white fruit flavours, vanilla and buttery notes,’ began Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club picked up on its ‘citrus lemon notes, herbal aromas, beautiful toast notes and complex, fresh finish’.

£63.48 Stefano Lubiana Wines

Howard Park, Miamup, Chardonnay 2016, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte found this ‘seductive if not a bit hedonistic, yet balanced’, full of ‘peaches and cream with fresh acids and loads of toasty oak’. ‘Very good aftertaste and mouthfeel,’ added Antóin UáRuairc of UK Midland Sommelier Ltd.

£12.74 Enotria&Coe

Langmeil, High Road, Chardonnay 2017, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Simone Fadda of Roka Aldwych found ‘apple, quince and pear aromas with a honeysuckle undernote’, and Stefano Barbarino of Chez Bruce Restaurant noted a ‘lovely floral component, camomile very present with oily texture on the palate, well balanced by nice freshness’, recommending a match with ‘light fish dishes such as mackerel’.

£10.25 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Petaluma, Chardonnay 2015, Piccadilly Valley, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Standing out for its ‘very smoky nose and complex palate’, this showed ‘intense, mouthwatering lime jelly on the palate, powerful richness with a long and pungent finish’, according to team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, with Woodhead 17’s James Fryer adding: ‘Smells like salted popcorn, with an earthy character on the palate, vanilla and gunpowder notes, too.’

£22.21 Matthew Clark

Katnook Estate, Founder's Block, Chardonnay 2016, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Nigel Lister enjoyed this wine’s ‘delicious, balanced, mouthwatering honeydew melon with pear and white flowers’, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club picked up ‘light green pea and herbal notes, Cox apple and baked fruit with complexity on the finish’.

£10.47 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Deakin Estate, Chardonnay 2017, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Nigel Lister noted ‘fresh-cut pear aromas and just a touch of oak spice, then bright acidity and good texture on the palate’, finding this a ‘good value option, with juicy acidity and a fresh finish’.

£7.19 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Xanadu, Exmoor, Chardonnay 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£9.99 Bibendum

Xanadu, Chardonnay 2015, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£13.27 Bibendum

Paringa Estate, The Paringa, Chardonnay 2015, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

Voyager Estate, Chardonnay 2014, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Madfish, Unwooded, Chardonnay 2016, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.79 Enotria&Coe

Heirloom, Chardonnay 2017, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Josef Chromy, Chardonnay 2015, Tasmania, Australia

Commended medal winner

£16.60 Bibendum

Andrew Peace, Down Under, Chardonnay 2016, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Stonier, Chardonnay 2016, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£13.82 Matthew Clark

 

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