Monday, March 14, 2005

3 Chardonnays: Chile, Australia, NZ

MEDALLA REAL SANTA RITA CHARDONNAY 2002, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 14.5%, #303628 $16.95

LCBO: "For their Medalla Real .... wines, Santa Rita locates the finest regions in the country that will best help them create their style of wine. In this case, they sourced fruit in the cooler Casablanca Valley because the conditions gave them a Chardonnay with more balance than they would find in other, warmer regions. On lthe label: "first-use French oak barrels.... on lees for five months" and from their website: "My notes: Attractive greenish-yellow coloured wine. Lively, brilliant, with good varietal intensity. Tropical fruits tones, with fine wood, vanilla and dry fruits deep taste. On the palate it is creamy, with elegant complexity.Ideal for long ageing. Can cellar up to six years." Mine was cellared from March, 2004. Medium-bodied, has kept a light traditional chardonnay nose and flavours basically as claimed. A pleasing sipper (if you like chard). A nice tang is present for pairing with white meat and a variety of seafoods. Vintages release March 20, 2004.

KIM CRAWFORD CHARDONNAY UNOAKED 2001, Marlborough, New Zealand, 12.5%, #991950 $19.95

Label says: "....oxidatively handled and cool fermented wiht selected yeast strains. Once dry, the wine underwent full malolactic fermentationn to add complexity and mouth feel. Pale straw in colour, the wine has the aroma of white stone peach complexed with hazelnuts...... Cellar for three to four years." LCBO(David Churchill): "Although unoaked, the extended lees contact with expired yeast cells, grape seeds, and skin and stem fragments has given this Chardonnay a suggestion of oak that adds a wonderful layer of complexity, etc. ... Medium-bodied with a medium long finish." My notes: Mine was cellared from December 2002. Pale colour for sure. Nose is a light peach fuzz. Light-bodied, some butter but hardly a chard. Too much process makes this a marginal sipper - lack of body and varietal flavours - with a short dry finish. OK with seafoods but, at the price, I'd skip altogether. A Vintages release.

WOLF BLASS CHARDONNAY 2003, Nuriootpa, Australia, 13.0%, #226860 $14.95

LCBO: "Bright yellow gold; tropical fruit and citrus with toasty, buttery oak aromas; full-bodied with intense flavours; smooth, warm spice and a long finish." My notes: Faint straw colour and nose - a soft, light cream impression with a smooth warm spice but hardly as intense as claimed. A General listing. Light-bodied to match with crabs legs, lobster or maybe grilled tuna.

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