The Chardonnay Grape comes under so many guises in the production of still and sparkling wine, yet can often still be pigeonholed by the casual drinker.
Labelling rules in much of France, for example, require that the place or D.O (designation of origin) takes centre stage on the bottle. Chablis, Macon-Village, Pouilly-Fuisse, Vire-Clesse, Saint-Veran. These are household names for even the most passive consumer, and yet ardent Chardonnay haters / Chablis lovers across the country still raise an eyebrow in learning that they are one and the same.
Perhaps this is just a testament to the versatility of the grape.
Indeed, just within our Sporting Wine range one could sample all that Chardonnay has to offer:
Elizabeth Chardonnay from Drew Bledsoe’s Kenny Hill Vineyard at Doubleback, Walla Walla Valley is slowly fermented at cool temperatures in concrete tulips, then in French oak resulting in an almost perfect marriage of natural acidity, streaking minerality and integration of buttery oak taste. We would argue that you won’t find a better balanced Chardonnay anywhere in the UK.
Bob Reeves’ Pouilly-Fuisse & NEW wine inbound alert Macon-Villages. French growers will tell you, there’s a specific “terroir” in the Maconnais region that can’t be replicated anywhere in the world. Clay and limestone soils lend the wines a unique minerality (that’s a thing in wine we promise! Just try it!). Also, Bob’s Pouilly-Fuisse endured a heatwave year, the last one in the region of note being 2003. And we all know how glorious a year that was!!
The key is this; low yields produce high quality fruit – and with volumes produced being outstripped by ever-increasing demand, we consider ourselves lucky to have even the very small allocation that we do! Get yours here
Sumaridge Chardonnay from Sumaridge Estate in the Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley, South Africa, by comparison has a more immediate, front palate hit of toasty oak giving way to soft vanilla flavours and behind all that a citrus zest that just highlights the purity of fruit harvested and the amazing work done at the vineyard.
Chardonnay is also used extensively in the Champagne region and in making traditional method sparkling wines from around the world. See here Schalk Burger’s totally wonderful Mon Rene Cap Classique from Welbedacht Wine Estate, made from 100% Chardonnay grapes.
This is only a tiny flavour of our sporting Chardonnays. Head here to see the full range and in the meantime how better to roar about National Chardonnay Day than to bring you a Lions Special. These three beauties all come from SA, two rugby and one golf – how well did Louis play at Kiawah Island by the way?!
Depth, elegance and quality – all to be seen through the wines and expected on tour – not long to go now!