We are incredibly spoilt for great Chardonnay in Australia.
Sure, old mate Chardie is an early ripening weed of a grape variety that flourishes everywhere, but so often the ‘Australian Chardonnay bracket’ in a lineup is the one that I want to taste and drink.
With such an embarrassment of riches, it’s only natural that very good wines can get missed – just like this Marchand & Burch Mount Barker Chardonnay 2018.
Typically the Burch family’s West Aussie Chardonnay releases are super, with Howard Park Chardonnay often upstaging its fancied Cabernet brother.
Yet the local Chardonnay from the Marchand & Burch label gets a bit forgotten. In fact, this whole label seems a bit lost for domestic wines – it’s more the vehicle for the Burch/Marchand Burgundies.
So to crack the lid on this Mount Barker Chardonnay and see it like this is much like how I felt when I discovered $20 in my jeans pocket last weekend – ie very welcome.
What I really like is that it’s not trying to shrink down into some sort of acid-meets-sulfur-compounds, modern Chardonnay anaemia. It’s ripe, and there is flavour. Golden sao with a twist of funk on the nose, and that not overblown, golden honey nut oak/lees/fruit interface. It carries through to the palate, with a sense of fullness and just enough acidity. Lovely. Lovely richness and still restrained, it’s a delicious drink. Indeed some late oak tannins on finish the only thing stopping a high gold. High quality stuff!
(Best drinking: now and no problem with at least five more years. 18.5/20, 94/100. 13%, $78. Marchand & Burch website. Would I buy it? Pricey but it’s top tier. I’d buy it on special.
From a range that massively overdelivers in value for money, this Miles From Nowhere Best Blocks Chardonnay 2020 is an example of the value out there too.
From the Tate family vineyards in Margaret River, this is also a riper style, with plenty going on. Mealy, banana esters and vanilla oak on the nose, the expansive palate stamped with oak and yet crisp to finish. Inelegant, but flavour and conviction. A bargain.
Best drinking: good now and for the next few years. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13.5%, $24.99. Miles From Nowhere website. Would I buy it? Worth a glass or so at least.
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