Friday, August 10, 2007

Wine Blog Wednesday 36 - Naked Chardonnay

Its a bit late because Ive been away for a few days, but heres my contribution to the 3rd anniversary edition of WBW! ( The third anniversary is leather (kinky!), perhaps Lenn would have been better chosing a meritage blend where at least we would have got some aromas of leather - sweaty saddles etc etc. But actually I prefer this selection - Naked Chardonnay, or unoaked, unwooded, however you prefer it called. Chardonnay has become slightly un"trendy" of late, with many drinkers moving to Sauvignon, especially Kiwi Savvy or, certainly in the UK, Pinot Grigio has been the most popular choice.

The wine Ive chosen for this is from Australia, a country often blamed for turning people off chardonnay with its identikit examples of overoaked, underachieving wines that flooded onto the market via the supermarket shelves. Now it seems that the tide has turned and many winemakers realised the error of their ways and are starting to produce cleaner, crisper examples that show of the fruit and not the oak staves or chips that they used to use. Cooler fermentation in stainless steel allows the character of the grape to shine. The wine is called Pitchfork Unwooded Chardonnay and its a second label, make exclusively for the on-trade by Chalk Hill Winery in the McLaren Vale of South Australia. The appellation is South Australia, so Im going to assume that they draw their fruit from across the state. The winemaker is French, Emmanuelle Requin-Bekkers (sounds more like an Afrikaner to me!), and judging by the wine, Id have a stab that she has had some experience in Burgundy, possibly around Chablis. (Just googled her and it turns out shes worked in most of Frances wine regions - Bordeaux, Burgundy, Languedoc, Loire and Bandol to name a few!)

The wine has a pale lemon colour with a thin watery rim, on the nose there is quite a medley of aromas including green apples, green melon ( a touch under-ripe) and citrus - pomello perhaps or ruby grapefruit. There is also quite a strong floral element - white flowers -cant quite place it. I cant find any hint of butteryness or creamy aromas so Im going to have a stab at saying this hasnt undergone any malo-lactic fermentation. On the palate it is crisp and clean with a pleasingly sharp acidity, similar flavours to the nose - apples and green melon with a more lemony citrus with a touch of kaffir lime and a slight hint of something herbal. It has a good length and makes very pleasant drinking. Id be quite happy to drink this on its own, but also think it would be nice with a touch of white fish. Quite reasonable, price wise as well, we are currently knocking this out by the glass in the Brasserie.

A good choice for a theme, and happy anniversary to WBW!

No comments: