I have no problem defending Chardonnay. The ABC* brigade is a bit tiresome – 10 or 20 years ago maybe there was a point but these days Australian Chardonnay is being made in such a range of styles that saying you don’t like it is, to me at least, kind of like saying you don’t like white wine, or you don’t like lamb. Have you had every white wine? Have you had every cut of lamb cooked every possible way?
So I urge everyone reading this point to give Chardonnay a rethink. If you don’t like big, oaky, ripe Chardies take a look at a few unwooded examples such as the extremely affordable Mike Press Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.
If you like oaky – let me introduce you to the O’Leary Walker 2010 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. I was a huge fan of this wine over Summer but I don’t remember it being so oaky (which makes me wonder if it was the 09 I was drinking …).
The wine is pale gold in the glass and the nose is dominated by the oak, with citrus and nectarine (stone fruit). On the palate there’s good acidity, and again the wine is oak dominant. The fruit is all lemon and lemon curd, with buttery and creamy notes. I found the finish a trifle hot. I did write the tasting note a day after opening the bottle and I do find that this can exacerbate hotness.
I still think this is a good wine, although I’d prefer a touch less in your face oak. Andy bought this for me and thought he paid about $27 for it – this is a notoriously unreliable measure of price though! The O’Leary Walker website lists it for $22 and a quick search of the internet suggests you should be able to pick it up around the $20. This is much closer the money.
If you like this style of Chardonnay this is a lovely example.
The wine was purchased from Cellarbrations (price uncertain).
Closure: screw cap.
* Anything But Chardonnay