Caudo 2012 Peace Chardonnay

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Another wine from the same cheap Cellarmasters carton that yielded the Zenith Sauvignon Blanc.

At an average of $5 or so a bottle, expectations were set accordingly, and this bottle was actually hiding in the fridge, a little forgotten.

Caudo is based in the Murray Lands, in South Australia. 700 acres are planted to vine (300 of those planted in 2001), with a further 150 acres preserved as a wildlife sanctuary. The website makes a reference to the Peace Chardonnay on the “about” page but I couldn’t find it anywhere else on the site. The Cellarmasters site will only find it if you search using Google rather than the on site search. Judging by the availability of the reds, I’d suggest these wines have been run out so I think you’ll struggle to find this wine (unless you are in NZ).

The wine producing areas along the River Murray are perhaps most crudely characterised as heavily irrigated bulk wine production areas. This is actually unfair because there are many producers doing small scale, interesting winemaking and it’s where we’re seeing a lot of work with emerging varieties.

However, at its price point, it’s not going to surprise anyone that this wine falls into the stereotype. And, indeed, if you are looking for that archetypal Aussie Chardonnay: sunshine in a bottle with lots of oak, then you’ve hit the nail on the head.

In the glass, the wine is straw in colour. The nose is dominated by butter and vanilla, with some lemon and apple. The butter and vanilla give away the oak treatment (at this price we’re talking something less subtle than new French oak barriques – the small, 225L barrels that you’ll find used in wines ten times the price and more). The palate is similarly dominated by the oak which is decidedly unbalanced. The wine’s acidity is OK and the weight is decent – it feels pleasant in the mouth. But the flavour profile is all about cream and vanilla with a touch of citrus.

The above might sound like I’m handing this wine a bit of a hiding, but I’m actually not. Yes, it does rather fall into my ‘boring’ category (hey, I’m someone who gets excited by the weird and wonderful) but I think this wine absolutely delivers in this style for its price. Just as there are people who like their Chardonnays lean and crisp, there are plenty of people who would really go for this wine. It’s all about your expectations as you open the bottle.

So not for me, but there are far worse t hings you could drink at this price point.

This wine was purchased through Cellarmasters in a mixed case.  Average bottle price was somewhere around the $5-6 mark.
Closure:  screw cap
13.5% abv

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