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Tolpuddle Chardonnay 2014

tolpuddle-chardFor lovers of great Chardonnay, this is a very fine example of the potential that lays in the vineyards in Tasmania. Australia’s ‘Big Apple’, the island state yields some of Australia’s finest produce – wine included. Particularly when in the experienced hands of Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW. Their Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay hailing from South Australia’s Adelaide Hills has long been one of the style leaders of modern Australian Chardonnay. Not unusually in the wine world, the story behind the Tolpuddle label started with a moment of compulsive insanity (click here) and the wines Read More

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Louis Latour Duet Chardonnay Viognier 2014

imageWhile wines from the Ardeche are still relatively unknown, Latour have been active in this French region since 1979. The large region on the western banks of the Rhone sits between the St Joseph, Cornas and the white only St Peray as northern appellation neighbours and to the south, the Cotes du Rhone appellation vineyards that are found on the western bank of the River. More familiar with making fine wine in Burgundy, Latour sought to expand its expertise, particularly that for producing Chardonnay, to Ardeche. The Duet, produced since 2002, takes on that Burgundian grape and adds the overtures of the Rhone native, Viognier. Read More

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Taylors deliver as Promised

Taylors-Promised-Land-cabmerlThe Promised Land is the Taylor family’s $15 (and often under) range and for this price point this bunch is vibrant and fresh. And put simply…. good drinking, whether your favourite would be the velvety Cab Merlot or the zesty Riesling. There is also an unwooded Chardonnay for those who love the fruitier, less savoury expression of this variety.

The back label also features a groovy temperature indicator which does an adequate job of telling you when you wine is in ‘the zone’ to drink. It sure is a conversation starter!

Taylors Promised Land Cabernet Merlot 2015 – Blueberry, cassis, violets and nutmeg abound from this wine. Juicy fruit backed by some velvety tannins and good length. A fun wine.

Taylors Promised Land 2015 Shiraz – Lushly coloured with plums, liquorice and pepper. The mid weight palate ends on a peppery note with soft enough tannins that you can give this wine a good chill. Read More

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Winery Spotlight: Getting to know Margaret River’s Grace Farm, & an invitation …

GraceFarm1

Over the past few years, the Mair family’s wine label Grace Farm from Australia’s Margaret River region has been turning heads and getting wine tongues wagging. Although their first vintage was 2011, it is only recently that the wines have become available to anyone outside Perth and its southern surrounds. As a family, they share the sustainable farming ideal and grapes are just one of the crops produced on Grace Farm. Read More

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Why chardonnay is the new black!

The chardonnay grape is having its own brand of renaissance and we have not had to wait around for centuries to see the result.  In the eighties and nineties, wine drinkers in Australia and around the world could not get enough chardonnay. We loved the big flavours and aromas that were easy to recognise in a line up. The French chardonnay’s were not so easy to recognise on the shelf with confusing labelling and in the glass, the difference between the new and old world chardonnays were beginning to look more just just a world apart.

Then the flavours of the new world wines got bigger and bigger and increasingly buttery, overtly oaked and full bodied.  You can see where I am going here..

Enter the breath of fresh air … er… acid in the guise of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. The fruit was bright and clean compared to the buttery tropical fruit of the chardonnay available. The aromas of passionfruit when ripe or gooseberry or capsicum when not are unmistakable and again are reliably easy to recognise which is comforting. Incidentally, these wine can be so pronounced that the aromas can be identified from a good foot from the glass. Just like chardonnay, the tide is beginning to turn against the ‘passion fashion’ that is the flamboyant side of sauvignon blanc.

A noticeable drop in the levels of oak, butter and over ripe tropical fruit in Australian chardonnay started to appear mid 2000s. The chardonnays from the USA are still riper, bigger and bolder although they are getting fresher over time.  The elegance that was chardonnay was on the way back. However, it has taken this long to convince drinkers that chardonnay is again the Queen of the wine world.

Here are five reasons why Chardonnay is Queen:

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