Chardonnay Selections

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Tony Cox shares his chardonnay choices from interest-rate rising budget considerations to special occasions.

You can get it walking. You can get it talking. You can get it at a party. That thirst for a chardy!

Chardonnay in all its wondrous guises is my go-to white wine from nervy, saline-tinged Chablis through to rich, buttery, oaky numbers from California and every style in between. 

I always try to find a home for a bottle on my table. Okay, to be honest it happens to be my wife’s favourite varietal and wanting to maintain a harmonious existence on the homefront I ensure we have some on hand at all times.

What can you say about Chablis?! Chablis comes from a specific region located north of Burgundy yet south of Champagne in France. Its flavour profile owing much to the fossilized chalk seabed which prevails in the region – think linear, a touch briny, with citrus nuances and minerality. 

From Petit Chablis through to Grand Cru these are super refreshing drinks. To think you can get Chablis under $40 is pretty good. 

At the quaffing section of the market – and let’s be honest, interest rate rises are forcing your scribe to not only the affordable end of the market but also the odd alcohol-free day lest the efforts of Phillip Lowe drive me to rehab – and we encounter year-in year-out smart drinks under $10. 

De Bortoli Sacred Hill Chardonnay from the Riverina is a case in point. For anywhere from $5-$10 per bottle you get plenty of fruit, medium bodied all cleaned up with some bright acidity. 

Best of all it is almost as ubiquitous as Coca Cola.

Occasionally, I still like to spoil myself and one worth digging up is Fighting Gully Road from Beechworth. Stonefruit, citrus, some texture, a little oak and great length all combine for a smashing drink. 

First encountered at a barrel tasting on a four-degree winter’s afternoon at the old maintenance workshop in the grounds of the former Beechworth Asylum, it was absolute magic (and no, I wasn’t being admitted; it is the actual location of the winery). 

At around $40-$45 I would like to think that some of us can still pull something out deserving of a special occasion – and this wine certainly
fits that bill.

At the more generous end of the spectrum is the Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay which sits around $30. Think tropical flavours, vanilla, honey, texture, roundness all finished with a lick of oak. 

Chardonnay in all its styles is an enticing and interesting drink. Best of all there is great value to be found at all price points from as well-priced as $5 a bottle. 

Just because we are experiencing restraint in our budgets doesn’t mean we have to forego quality and value for money at whichever level we choose to purchase. 

Matter of fact, I’ve got it now…

Cheers and good drinking!

About the Author /

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After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

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