A broad, fruity, easy drinking fizz that’s great value at under £20, this combines malty, strawberry fruit flavours with a frothy mousse and chalky minerality. It looks the part, too.
Forward, soft and ripe, with notes of banana and vanilla oak, this is a well made Languedoc Chardonnay, showing refreshing acidity and brightness on the finish. The oak adds a spicy dimension to the wine.
A highly unusual (possibly unique?) blend of Macabeo, Verdil, Pedro Ximénez and Chardonnay from Valencia of all places, this stylishly packaged, leesy white was made with very little suplhur, but it’s cleaner and fresher than many “natural” wines. Ageing takes place in clay amphorae, rather than oak and the result is all about fruit: apple, pear and a hint of stone fruit with subtle spices.
Englishman Richard Kershaw has followed up his 2012 release with a wine that’s every bit as good. This is a smoky, minerally, citrus-tinged, stylishly constructed Chardonnay that whispers of its cool climate origins in Elgin. Discreet and subtle, it’s a wine with texture, harmony and palate length. One of the Cape’s best examples of the grape.
One of a series of impressive wines under The Shortlist label, this French oak-fermented cool climate Chardonnay has benefited from a little bottle age and is now showing some developed flavours and aromas. Pear, cinnamon spice and a touch of honey combine well on the palate here.
A lightly oaked Chardonnay that still shows all the Neudorf hallmarks: weight, power, spice and complexity, with sweet stone and tropical fruit underpinned by acidity. The oak, as ever, is deftly handled here, showing notes of cinnamon and nutmeg spice.
Produced in small quantities from Tim and Judy Finn’s vineyards in Nelson, this lees-aged Chardonnay sees very little oak and is made in a “Chablis” style. It’s a subtle, herbal white with notes of baking spices and citrus and appealing texture and concentration.
The top Chardonnay from Neudorf and one of the best examples of the grape in New Zealand, this is an aromatic, textured, beautifully balanced white with seamless oak integration. Pear, melon and nectarine fruit are intertwined with flavours of cinnamon and citrus-like acidity. This will age well, too.
Beaune whites are not as well known as its reds, although both tend to be under-rated. Leesy, soft and gently oaked, this is a comparatively forward style with subtle oak framing and notes of lemon butter and honey. The acidity of the 2010 vintage lifts the wine on the finish.
A lees-aged blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier from innovative producer, Chapel Down, this is a well-priced English fizz that delivers in the glass. Toasty and malty with refreshing acidity and a dry, savoury finish, showing fine bubbles.
Easy drinking, commercial Chablis made in the classic style without oak. 2013 was a tricky vintage in the region, but winemaker Grégory Viennois has done a lovely job here, combining citrus fruit with minerality and good mid-palate creaminess.
I’ve been very critical of the 2011 vintage in Chablis (because of a root vegetable-like taint called geosmin that I find on too many of the wines) but this is a welcome exception to the rule, a clean, appealingly developed Chardonnay from an excellent Premier Cru. There’s a touch of oak on this wine, but it’s steered by fruit. Honey, pear and aniseed spice are nicely combined on the palate.