Or as I like to call it, International "happiness in a glass coz it's the nectar of the Gods" day - but whatevs.
Yes, Chardy day is upon us once again & I'm pretty excited at having the chance to dedicate a whole segment once again to one of my all time favourite varietals. Whether you like them big, buttery & oaked or lean, linear & oak free (AKA Chablis) I think you find a Chardonnay out there for you.
My picks this week are a diverse bunch each with a different story to tell, and each from a very different parts of the world. The first from just around the corner is the Kumeu. The Kumeu Road, Kumeu Village Chardonnay is a wine that I frequently have the conversation with other wine peeps as to how can they make a wine this good, this affordable? We're stumped as honestly, I've seen it as low as $16 and it's a wine that could easily go for a whole heck more. The quality never falters and the flavours of pineapple, citrus & stonefruit always delight.
Remember a while ago I went crazy for the Jacobs Creek "Double Barrel" reds? Well they only went & made a Double Barrel Chardonnay. This is a really elegant expression of Australian Chardonnay & not one for you if you like an oaky butter bomb, which I actually feel people are moving away from anyway. To make this Chardonnay they take the grape juice & split it in half, barrel ferment half in old scotch whisky barrels & the other half in traditional oak wine barrels then blend the two together to get the end result, which is is pretty amazing wine with flavours of lemon & stonefruit & hazelnuts. The other thing that is pretty amazing is it's price point of $22. Love your work Jacob's Creek.
Irwin is Matawhero's flagship wine and it a tribute to the late Bill & Denis Irwin, a father and son team who founded Matawhero. Bill was an innovator in the early days of New Zealand wine, making many remarkable contributions to wine including the importing of the new vines and clones into and making the seemingly audacious move of entering New Zealand wines into international competitions. Although this is the first release for Irwin Chardonnay, they plan to make this wine in the finest years and when I say made, well, crafted is probably a better term. the wine is befitting the namesake oozing peaches & citrus, with hints of oak. Definitely a special occasion wine which is probably just as well as it comes in at $60, but considering the quality of the wine, the potential for aging & the tribute to a wine legacy, I think it's worth every penny
For more on international Chardonnay Day, click the link below to hear my chat with Wendyl Nissen on the RadioLIVE Long Lunch