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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > NEW WORLD: Chardonnay - Australia

Winner Details

New World: Chardonnay, Australia

2019  Gold 3       Silver 10               Bronze 2             Commended 7
2018  Gold 5       Silver 7                 Bronze 2             Commended 9

In terms of places on the Gold List this was rather disappointing. In fact, it was Australia’s worst performance with Chardonnay for several years. But take your eyes off the Golds and move down one level, and it’s a rather different story. That big bulge of Silvers suggests there were a lot of wines that the tasters really liked but that they elected to limit themselves in terms of places on the final list.

Certainly the feedback from our teams was positive enough throughout. They like the new mineral/citrus/reductive style of Australian Chardonnay, where the naturally ripe fruit is dialled back a bit and given a smoky rather than a sweet oaky twist.

Yes, one or two of our tasters expressed something of a hankering for the bigger, richer wines of yore, but generally this style found favour with our teams. A strong category that could easily have had another couple of Golds, but with plenty of wines to explore throughout the medal levels.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘You look to Australian Chardonnay for ripeness of the fruit and good expression of oak that’s well integrated – but I didn’t find those here. They were very shy with the oak, and there were some without oak.’ Raphael Thierry, Street XO

‘I thought these were all good, with some varietal character. They have that typicity, of stone fruit and peach character, and some oak, vanilla and clove aromas.’ Sylwester Piasecki, Zuma

‘At the lower price points there was a touch of sweetness and some smoky rubber notes, as well as one or two that were super-fresh and clean. When you went higher in price that smoky note was more restrained, and you started to find much more complexity. Price point definitely made a difference.’ Beatrice Bessi, 67 Pall Mall

‘Some amazing wines here, and they’re very useful in a restaurant. They match with spicy food, in something like our chicken cashew nuts dish with chillies.’ Elisa Soggia, Kai Mayfair

‘We had a wide range of styles, and freshness was more evident. The wines were showing quite well, and with some good prices. They hit this sub-£18 price point, and are really pleasant, easy-drinking wines.’ Andres Ituarte, team leader

‘There’s a freshness and crispness that you get from being so close to the sea that’s specific to Margaret River. It’s a good alternative to your classic white Burgundy, and still some great value for money.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

 

Award winners

Found 22 wines

New World: Chardonnay, Australia

Fraser Gallop, Parterre, Chardonnay 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Clearly a gastronomic wine, this Gold Lister had the panel excited about its food-matching potential. For consultant Emanuel Pesqueira it was ‘a great fish wine’, because it was both ‘very juicy’ and had ‘steely acidity’. Daniel Loughlin of 20 Stories agreed, feeling it would pair well with ‘rich sauces and seafood’. All agreed there was a light hand on the oak, with team leader Charlie Young describing ‘lifted, citrus aromas; a lemony palate and very well-integrated background oak’. Summing up, he said it was simply ‘super-fresh and drinkable’.

£18.40 Bibendum

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

Gold medal winner

There was unanimous praise for this easy Gold medal choice, with team leader Charlie Young noting: ‘A savoury wine, with complex, toasty notes, but there’s also tangerine and the citrus notes are plentiful.’ Praising the wine’s balance, he said: ‘It has life and freshness and the fruit is powerful but not overpowering.’ Terry Kandylis of 67 Pall Mall noted ‘mature notes’ that were ‘nutty, with camomile, caramel and lime marmalade on toast’, while consultant Emanuel Pesqueira described a ‘well-made food wine’ that was ‘rich and mineral; complex and long’.

£22.21 Matthew Clark

Rob Dolan, White Label, Chardonnay 2017, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Gold medal winner

‘Excellent’ was how consultant Emanuel Pesqueira summed up this bottle, as it was awarded its Gold medal, adding: ‘It has an oily, rich quality that flows throughout this complex, integrated wine.’ ‘Such a super flinty nose,’ said James Fryer of Woodhead 17, ‘there’s some almond skin and a smoky, peachy quality, too.’ ‘It’s very inviting,’ agreed Terry Kandylis of 67 Pall Mall, ‘and the palate has complexity, length, freshness and purity.’

£14.63 Rob Dolan Wines

Josef Chromy, Chardonnay 2016, Tasmania, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Charlie Young described ‘savoury, mineral aromas’ backed up with ‘tangerine rind, flowing acidity and a mild spice with a long, compelling length’, and suggested this wine should bear a label saying ‘Taste me!’.

£17.53 Bibendum

Kingston Estate, Chardonnay 2017, Padthaway, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Charlie Young sang the praises of this Aussie Chardonnay, which he thought delivered ‘match-head aromas with a touch of lime’. He went on to say that its ‘good depth and balance is accompanied by plenty of good fruits and freshness’.

£9.98 House of Townend

Zonte's Footstep, Dusk Til Dawn, Chardonnay 2017, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

This Silver medal-winning wine was a hit with team leader Charlie Young, who described a nose of ‘white peach and spice’. Of its palate he noted: ‘Freshness with underlying steeliness, yet this wine has a gentle side as it brings a long supple mouthfeel of apples and quince.’

£14.43 Zonte's Footstep

Woodlands, Wilyabrup Valley, Chardonnay 2016, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

This wine, which fell just short of a Gold medal, was a hit with team leader Charlie Young, who delighted in its ‘subtle, pleasant aromas… balanced and ripe with integrated textural interest’. He summed it up as ‘a great all-rounder of a wine’.

£12.95 Berkmann Wine Cellars

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

Silver medal winner

Consultant Emanuel Pesqueira was generous in his praise for this weighty, Silver medal-winning Chardonnay, describing the ‘opulance and well-made soft, savoury palate’ in a wine that ‘is noted for its nutty complexity and generous length’.

£19.75 Liberty Wines

Jarrah Wood, Chardonnay 2017, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Charlie Young was impressed by this reasonably priced Silver medal-winning wine’s ‘guava and lime aromas’. He described a ‘toned-down palate’, but thought it was ‘still full bodied with a decent finish’.

£6.25 LWC DRINKS LTD

Citrus Tree, Chardonnay 2018, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

According to James Fryer of Woodhead 17, ‘this wine would fly off the bar if it were to be served in a pub’, and and he backed up his claim by describing it as ‘super-ripe and tropical with sweet spice and characteristic Chardonnay fruits’.

£6.70 Unity Wines & Spirits

Petaluma, Stonier, Chardonnay 2016, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Charlie Young described a ‘savoury nose with a fabulous underpinning of acidity, intensity and flowery spice that leads to high complexity and minerality’, and suggested that this wine needs to be tasted by all.

£13.82 Matthew Clark

Hardys, HRB, Chardonnay 2013, Multi-Regional, Australia

Silver medal winner

James Fryer of Woodhead 17 described a ‘Montrachet-like nose’ with ‘riper, golden, richer fruits that border on the nutty and possibly even buttery’. Although he thought it ‘borders slightly on the over-ripe’, he suggested that ‘as a style it works’.

£15.88 Matthew Clark

Fowles Wine, Ladies who Shoot their Lunch, Wild Ferment, Chardonnay 2017, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

This solid Silver medal-winning wine was described by Daniel Loughlin of 20 Stories as a wine with ‘strong banana and tropical notes, medium bodied, yet juicy and sweet, with a decent acidity and a nice long finish’.

£18.34 Enotria&Coe

Larry Cherubino, Ad Hoc, Hen and Chicken, Chardonnay 2017, Western Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

This ‘great example of a regional Australian Chardonnay’ was described by Daniel Loughlin of 20 Stories as ‘intensely nutty and popcorny’.

£13.29 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Paringa Estate, Peninsula, Chardonnay 2016, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘With its verbena, lemon pith and herb nose’, James Fryer of Woodhead 17 described this wine as having ‘a palate that follows with lovely soft peach fruit spice and great texture’.

£20.18 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Kooyong, Clonale, Chardonnay 2017, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£16.38 Enotria&Coe

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

Commended medal winner

£15.95 Bibendum

Katnook Estate, Founder's Block, Chardonnay 2017, Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Deakin Estate, Chardonnay 2018, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

Yering Station, Village, Chardonnay 2016, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£13.89 Bibendum

Howard Park, Miamup, Chardonnay 2017, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£15.95 Enotria&Coe

Domaine Tournon, Landsborough Vineyard, Chardonnay 2016, Pyrenees, Australia

Commended medal winner

 

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