The Art of Comparison

by Andrea Frost
‘Stop comparing yourself to others’ is advice we are given early on in life and, depending how well we heed it, quite often later in life. It’s reasonable counsel, particularly...
89

2014 Thistledown Great Escape Cool Climate Textural Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

( £13-15, 12.5%, Alliance Wine )

A fruity, modern Aussie Chardonnay from the cool (well coolish) Adelaide Hills, where the oak is unintrusive and the pure pear and peach fruit is allowed to express itself. The result is one of those whites you want to glugg by the glass in your nearest wine bar. 

Drinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Australia, White, Chardonnay
95

2010 Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard, Kent

( £60-80, 12% )

An ambitious – and ambitiously priced – single vineyard blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the producer that continues to lead the English sparkling wine revolution. The bubbles are particularly fine here, the low dosage beautifully judged, the acidity refreshing and citrus-edged, while the bready, leesy, autolysis-influenced flavours linger tantalisingly on the tongue. Classy stuff. 

BuyDrinking window: 2016-20Similar Wines: £50-£100, 91-95, England, Sparkling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
93

2015 Thistledown Suilven Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

( £20-£30, 13%, Alliance Wine )

One of those wines that tastes every bit as good as it looks, this Scottish/Australian collaboration eschews the leaner, reductive, early picked style that’s favoured by some winemakers Down Under in favour of something a little more substanial and textured. Deftly oaked, oatmealy and refreshing, with a focus and minerality that wouldn’t look out of place in the Côte de Beaune.

Drinking window: 2016-19Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Australia, White, Chardonnay

On wine and wondering

by Andrea Frost
Even though I spend a lot of time wandering in and wondering about nature, I confess I felt foolish being dropped in a vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand, so I...
91

2013 Bleasdale Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills

( £9.95, 12.5%, The Wine Society )

Anyone who doubts that the Australian Chardonnay revolution is one of the most exciting trends in the world, right now, booting the old “sunshine in a glass” cliché into the Great Southern Ocean, should join The Wine Society and get hold of a bottle of this remarkable wine from the cool climate Adelaide Hills. Burgundy could only dream of providing such value at under £10. Fresh, minerally and yeasty, with subtle oak and a savoury undertone, it tastes like a really good Saint Aubin. Drink over the next five years. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-20Similar Wines: £5-£10, 91-95, Australia, White, Chardonnay

Marlborough: The Fear of France?

by Matt Walls
If you like Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll love Marlborough in New Zealand. Of its 22,903 hectares of vineyards, 19,639 of them are planted with it. Undoubtedly this feels like an awful...

Braver New World

by Matt Walls
“Sorry I’m late sir. Ignore the bandage, I had an unexpected visit to the hospital to get my ear seen to. Anyway – I understand you’d like me to paint...
94

NV Krug, Grande Cuvée, Champagne

( £80-£100, 12%, Widely available )

A blend of 20 wines from ten different vintages, some of which are 15 years old, Krug’s non-vintage blend is one of a kind. It’s rich, complex and palate coating, with small bubbles, savoury, umami notes, hints of hazelnut and honey and a dry, refeshing palate. The kind of Champagne that works extremely well with food rather than as an aperitif. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £50-£100, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay