Chardonnay, for some reason, has been an unfashionable grape ever since I can remember. I don’t get why. How could you refuse a crisp glass of Chablis? A bit of Blanc de Blancs Champagne maybe? Something with the depth and scale of a Russian River Valley? Well if you can, you need your head testing!
Chardonnay is right up there as the world’s most versatile white wine grape. I think right in thinking nearly every wine producing country has a go at Chardonnay. It copes in the heat and in the cold. It copes in the dry and the damp. It shows off the soils of where it’s grown and lends itself well to oaking. There is just so much this bugger will do!
At the ABS wine tasting day last week, I was lucky enough to jump into a master class on Chardonnay. We got treated to wines from across the world, presented by the winemakers, and each having a great natter about why they love Chardonnay and their own take on it. 4 different regions, 4 very different styles.
From Chablis to Casablanca in Chile. From NSW in Australia to Stellenbosch in South Africa. Chardonnay might not be “fashionable”, but it continues to get grown for a good reason, and that’s because it produces some of the world beaters of white wine.
If we don’t like Chardonnay, then it’s our own fault. We couldn’t get enough of the overly oaked and fat style in the 90s forcing farmers to go down that route, and now we won’t give it a chance to rectify that and show what it can do across the globe? Think we need to get over ourselves and get tasting!
P.S. Thanks to the guys and girls at ABS Wines for putting on the day. The four producers were:
- Domaine de Malandes, Chablis, France
- Casas del Bosque, Casablanca, Chile
- Philip Shaw, Orange, NSW, Australia
- Jordan, Stellenbosch, South Africa