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Winner Details

Chardonnay - Australia

This was very much a part of the competition with mixed messages. On one hand, the total number of Golds was slightly disappointing (we’d hoped for a pick-up on last year); on the other hand, that lovely spread of prices suggests our teams were choosing from a position of strength.

Equally, although we got half the number of Aussie Chardonnay Silvers compared to last year, the country still dominated the top medals with this grape variety in the New World – and feedback from our tasters was very positive.

Australia has settled down into two very different styles – the slimmer, smoky, struck-match-style wines, and the richer, plumper, more tropical offerings. Which style you’re looking for probably depends on your customers as much as anything – and there were fans for both.

Pricing wasn’t especially cheap (so well done to Robert Oatley for its sub-£10 Gold) but there was generally a sleekness and class to these that makes them viable Burgundy substitutes.

From The Tasting Teams

‘The Margaret River wines were very food friendly, with lots of vibrant acidity and delicate stone fruit and passion fruit. They’re probably Burgundian in terms of price point, but with a different flavour profile.’ Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine

‘These definitely have a place on a list, particularly those from the cooler climates. Those overripe, creamy wines aren’t the thing nowadays.’ Erik Simonics, Annabel’s

‘Margaret River has a distinctive style that showed through the entire range of wines we tried. There was sometimes this toasted sesame seed and smokiness, and sometimes tropical, rich styles. Many did a really good job of expressing those classic characters.’ Jan Konetzki, team leader

‘Tasmania was impressive here, leaning more to the Burgundian style, with quite well-integrated oak. Overall, they’re expensive, though – I’d want the ones below £20.’ Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London

‘There was a mix of oaky, stone fruit, heavy-bodied styles, all the way to fresh, green fruit in the lighter styles. You really see the evolution of Australian Chardonnay from what it used to be to what it is today.’ Elena Serban, Heritage Restaurant

‘We’re all searching for textured white wines to serve instead of Burgundy, and Margaret River is definitely one that works, and has its own personality.’ Jan Konetzki, team leader

‘The richer style shifts more easily across the Midlands; those fatter styles are more readily taken.’ Antóin UáRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier

Award winners

Found 28 wines

New World: Chardonnay, Australia

Fire Gully, Chardonnay 2018, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

'This is a classic, with toast, oak, and citrus notes.' Jan Konetzki, team leader. 'Opening with notes of big, richly toasty sweet oak, and hints of melon, this has great length and clean acidity.' Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House. 'There's great balance here with some ripe melon and stone fruits combined with toasty oak, and accompanied by pineapple and baking spices, and with a fresh lemon finish.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£15.25 Jeroboams

Robert Oatley, Pocketwatch, Chardonnay 2018, New South Wales, Australia

Gold medal winner

'A mineral style of Chardonnay with good crispness to it, starting with a pretty nose of green apple, grapefruit and apricot, with a nice acidity on the palate that carries the flavours through.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'Fresh, floral and aromatic on the nose, with persistent fruits, this is an easy-drinking summer wine that's versatile for pairing and a real crowd-pleaser.' Bianca Potenza, 212 Amsterdam.

£9.50 Hatch Mansfield

Bird in Hand, Nest Egg, Chardonnay 2018, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

'This is incredibly rich on the nose, leading to a palate overflowing with flavour and showing really good complexity.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'Almond, hazelnut, brown butter and cream notes, with roasted pineapple, burnt orange zest and dried rosemary behind, and the oak is there too. A big wine to serve with roasted fish or white meats with a creamy sauce.' Laurent Richet MS, team leader.

£28.90 Lea & Sandeman, East Street Wines

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

Silver medal winner

'There's good complexity here, with just the right amount of oak on the toasty, citrus flavour profile.' Jan Konetzki, team leader. 'Bright, refreshing stone fruit with some tropical notes - this has elegant balance and length.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine. 'Succulent and opulent with a hint of vanilla alongside stone fruits and citrus and a smoky, oaky note.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet.

£19.87 Bibendum

Heirloom, Chardonnay 2019, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'A fresh style of Chardonnay, with zesty lime and white-pepper aromas, and some good, refreshing concentration.' Luís Martins, team leader. 'Interesting to find such a fresh wine in this price bracket. This has precision, craft and vision, with a hint of rosemary, mint, honeysuckle and pineapple.' Laurent Richet MS, team leader.

£29.40 Heirloom Vineyards

Stonier, Chardonnay 2017, Mornington Peninsula, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Notes of ripe peach, guava, papaya and pineapple on the nose and palate, followed by some judicious use of oak, bringing vanilla notes and a richness, with the acidity piercing through.' Tim Handley, Royal Automobile Club. 'A lively honeyed Chardonnay underpinned by citrus, and with a touch of struck match on the nose. A popular, international style.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader.

£16.47 Matthew Clark

Stargazer, Chardonnay 2017, Tasmania, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Rich and intense, yet still very fresh, with a touch of complexity and great structure. A well-made wine.' Erik Simonics, Annabel’s. 'With initial charming smoked oak and ripe yellow plum aromas, this is elegant and well-balanced. A very fine bottle of Chardonnay.' Luís Martins, team leader.

£30.10 Enotria&Coe

Josef Chromy, Chardonnay 2017, Tasmania, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Rich pleasant and creamy, this is a buttery yet fresh style with some minerality towards the end. A versatile wine.' Bianca Potenza, 212 Amsterdam. 'With its blend between citrus, green and stone fruits, followed by minerality and stalky wet stones, this is an excellent food wine. Great for a baked goats' cheese salad and crispy endives.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London.

£17.64 Bibendum

Bellvale, Athena's Vineyard, Chardonnay 2017, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Some initial oily and smoky notes on the nose, with a palate that's rich and dry, with a saltiness too.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Golden in colour, this is ripe and round, with some stone fruit notes alongside lots of oak, and with a creamy texture too.' Erik Simonics, Annabel’s.

£15.56 Jascots Wine Merchants

McHenry Hohnen, Calgardup Brook Vineyard, Chardonnay 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'There's very nice minerality to this round, creamy and opulent wine, accompanied by toasted notes, vanilla and lime peel, as well as some stone fruit and tropical notes.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'An elegant, fresh wine with some crisp acidity and notes of green plums, with a slight smokiness.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine.

£17.81 Louis Latour Agencies

Robert Oatley, The Pennant, Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'This is a tasty mix of citrus and pineapple, with hints of apple, leading to caramel and vanilla barrel notes that add some nice complexity.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting. 'Mouth-wateringly refreshing stone fruit and passion fruit, with a creamy, elegant balance overall.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine.

£19.03 Hatch Mansfield

Accolade Wines, Hardys HRB, Chardonnay 2014, Pemberton/Yarra Valley, Western Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'On the nose this is rich and unctuous, with some hedonistic woody vanilla notes alongside some buttery citrus and red apple notes, and some richness on the palate balanced by good acidity.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'Fresh sea breeze and smoked oak aromas, with a zesty, refreshing palate.' Luís Martins, team leader.

£17.36 Matthew Clark

Accolade Wines, William Hardy, Chardonnay 2019, Limestone Coast, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Pear, golden apple, pineapple and orange are all in the game here - this is a fresh, vibrant wine with lovely energetic acidity.' Laurent Richet MS, team leader. 'With its notes of tropical fruit, this is super-ripe and juicy, and would make a good entry-level option to pour by the glass.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£8.16 Matthew Clark

Nicholson River Winery, Chardonnay 2017, Gippsland, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'Really complex on the nose, with pineapple, ripe peach and some delicate citrus notes as well.' Gianluca Provenzani, Belmond Cadogan Hotel. 'Burgundian in style, with fine creamy oak and a restrained, elegant minerality. This has finesse and charm, as well as power, depth and complexity balanced with elegance and finesse. Perfect with a creamy fillet of turbot.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London.

£29.40 Nicholson River Winery

Shaw + Smith, M3, Chardonnay 2018, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'This has a crisp nose with green grassy tones, leading to good flavours of lemons and kumquat, and some delicate freshness overall.' Antóin UáRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier. 'A big toasty nose, and a mellow palate, showing some bright fruit, this is clean, fresh and lively.' Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House.

£19.75 Liberty Wines

Giant Steps, Applejack Vineyard, Chardonnay 2018, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Bronze medal winner

'A super-pleasant New World Chardonnay that's well-made and integrated, on the restrained end of the spectrum. It has citrus and rich tropical fruit, but with a swathe of peach through the middle, and zippy acidity.' Tim Handley, Royal Automobile Club. 'Rich and voluptuous, but still retains a refreshing edge.' Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House.

£22.50 Liberty Wines

McHenry Hohnen, Laterite Hills, Chardonnay 2017, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Rob Dolan Wines, Black Label, Chardonnay 2018, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£13.37 Rob Dolan Wines

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

Commended medal winner

£11.18 Bibendum

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

Commended medal winner

£17.43 Bibendum

Petaluma, Chardonnay 2017, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£26.49 Matthew Clark

Accolade Wines, Eileen Hardy, Chardonnay 2014, Multi-Regional, Australia

Commended medal winner

£28.62 Matthew Clark

Accolade Wines, Hardys, Foodie Chardonnay 2018, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.59 Matthew Clark

Berri Estates, Unoaked Chardonnay 2018, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£6.32 Matthew Clark

Ocean Eight, Verve, Chardonnay 2016, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

Smalltown Vineyards, The Next Big Thing, Chardonnay 2018, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£8.00 Boutinot

Bird in Hand, Chardonnay 2018, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Sidewood, Mappinga, Chardonnay 2018, Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

 

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