Sunday, March 20, 2005

3 Chardonnays: Australia, Canada

WYNDHAM ESTATE BIN 222 CHARDONNAY 2003, South Eastern Australia, 13.0%, #093401 $11.95

My notes: Lemon yellow colour; fragrant aromas of tropical fruit, pineapple, peach and vanilla oak; dry, medium-bodied with soft fruit flavours; citrus and spice on the finish." Pretty accurate description overall. A light lemon colour, crystal clear, a slight sweetness (1) and buttery roundness makes this a pleasant sipper. It should also fare well with grilled chicken, pork chops; seafood dishes. It did OK with a grilled turkey/ ham/ bacon/cheese/ lettuce/ tomato Sub with extra chipotle sauce. A General listing.

STREWN VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 1998, Beamsville, Ontario, 13.2%, Winery $18.95

My notes: Cellared May, 2001. The label says: "....fermentation in oak... yields toasty, smoky apple aromas. A smooth warm palate with good weight ... a long, full finish." Four years in the cellar have left a light-bodied liquid with some butter, an oaky without fruit nose, flavours lacking any fruit and an objectionable, before decanting, finish. Decanting helped to overcome some off-flavours but couldn't bring back the fruit. I can't remember the original tasting at the winery but it must have had a balanced fruit, the basis for buying. The cork pulled easily suggesting a loose fit which would cause premature ageing but the colour doesn't show oxidation. My conclusion: cellared too long....

LENTON BRAE 2000 MARGARET RIVER CHARDONNAY, Margaret River, Westerm Australia, 14.0%, #960930 $23.60

My notes: Cellared March, 2003. Repeatedly the best of any class at the Perth Wine Show. Light straw colour and a delicate tropical fruit nose, light- to medium-bodied with fresh melon-gooseberry flavours and a balanced acid. Spent some time on French oak but hard to detect except for a very light butter. An interesting sipper, could pass for a non-chard - pair with cheeses, a variety of seafoods, possibly salmon kebobs. Has lost some fruit and aromas from 2003. Marginally OK now but much better before - a drink-now to 12 months wine.

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