Great Whites

Great Whites

Published by William Frazier on 1st Dec 2015


This Christmas Chardonnay will be enjoyed all over the world. Either blended in Champagne in the morning, or purely as a 'blanc de blancs' (white of whites) sparkler with a starter. Or how about the fresh and mineral flavours of a Chablis with a fish course, or one of the more complex wines from Burgundy or Australia with your main course.
Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety that originates from the Burgundy region in eastern France. Nowadays it's grown wherever wine is produced – from England to New Zealand. For new and developing wine regions, growing Chardonnay is seen as something of a rite of passage, and an easy entry into the international wine market.
The grape itself is very neutral and the juice runs clear. In fact, most of the flavours it's mostly associated with come from the terroir and oak barrels that help produce the many different styles – from the lean, crisp mineral wines of Chablis to the oak and tropical fruit of New World wines. In cool climates (such as Chablis), Chardonnay tends to be medium to light bodied with noticeable acidity, and flavours of green plum, apple and pear. In warmer climes, like Australia and the Gisborne and Marlborough regions of New Zealand, the flavours become more citrus, peach and melon, while in very warm locations, such as California, it develops more fig and tropical fruit notes, including banana and mango. Wines that have gone through malolactic fermentation tend to have softer acidity and fruit flavours with buttery mouth feel and hazelnut notes.

Pure Chardonnay (unoaked)

Joseph Perrier Blanc De Blancs £37.99
The nose is elegant and complex. There are aromas of white flowers, apricot and mirabelle plums. The palate has plenty of fresh citrus notes and lively acidity, some touches of spice and vanilla, rich brioche elements and a long lemony finish. "Tightly wound and intense, with appealing green, herb and leaf accent to its vanilla, toast and coffee flavours. The elegant profile and cohesive finish fit together beautifully." 92 Points, Wine Spectator.

Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2007 £34.99
A lovely pale straw-yellow colour. The essence of purity, with a rich nose of bergamots, philadelphus and granny smith apples followed by racy citrus fruits and focused minerality on the palate. Great English Sparkling Wine.

Macon Chardonnay Talmard 2014 £10.49
Well balanced with good weight of Chardonnay fruit, apple peach and grapefruit flavours, an excellent bright and fresh wine, from the very consistent producers the Talmard family.

Chablis Domaine de Malandes 2014 £12.99
Good crispness, aromas of fresh fruit, particularly peaches, and a richness together with that classic Chablis minerality.

Chablis Vieilles Vignes Daniel Defaix 2010 £17.99
Vieilles Vignes (old vines) and an extra-long time on the lees (12 months) leads to an intense and rich Chablis. Dry, yet rich and full-bodied from the best vintage in a decade.

Chardonnay oaked, cellared and drinking well

Heemskerk Coal River Chardonnay Tasmania 2012 £31.95
Decanter Top 50 wines of the Year Award January 2015.
Particularly expressive of its terroir with minerality, texture and fleshy stone fruit characters. This wine opens with vivid aromas of wet limestone, pink grapefruit and white blossom followed ever so delicately by hazelnut kernel. The palate is initially expressive of mineral, wet-slate flavours and textures, before opening up to reveal fleshy nectarine and white peach.

Mercurey Blanc Chateau de Chamirey En Pierrelet 2011 £27.99
Finished in oak (20% new). A deep honeyed intense nose, sweet deep rich and intense.

Puligny Montrachet Les Truffieres Louis Latour 2007 £52.99
8-10 months ageing in oak barrels, 50% new wood.
Rich and sumptuous, Puligny-Montrachet “Les Truffières” 2007 is deep in colour with pale yellow accents. The nose is characterised by floral hints that are lightly spiced. The attack is straightforward and the flavours quite full. This is a wine with character, offering great persistence on the palate and a fresh, mineral-laden finale.

For the ABC's (anything but Chardonnay) there are other grape varieties!

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