Victoria Moore attended a series of wine tastings in November 2017 to celebrate the Margaret River wine region's 50th anniversary. The 32nd annual Cullen International Chardonnay Tasting was hosted by Vanya Cullen who had selected 22 chardonnays from Australia, France and the US.
Below is an extract from Victoria Moore's column in The Daily Telegraph, July 2018.
"Every so often, an online commenter asks why anyone would be interested in chardonnay when sauvignon blanc (and other grapes) have all the verve and freshness you could ever want (especially, you might think, in this heatwave). This week’s column begins with a riposte to that from Cliff Royle at Flametree in Margaret River (you need to turn on your internal Australian accent as you read in order to do it full justice).
“People tell me ‘I’m ABC’ – anything but chardonnay – and I say, ‘You know what, you need to do yourself a favour and get over that quite quickly because chardonnay is the greatest white wine grape in the world and, yes, I’ve had some nice rieslings, and some nice other whites, but the greatest white wines I’ve had have all been chardonnay. Yes, I understand you fell out of love with it because a lot of wines were over-oaky and clunky, but that’s not where we are now.’”
Wines of the Week
Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Chardonnay 2016 Margaret River, Australia (13.5%, winedirect.co.uk, £22.50)
An astonishingly good chardonnay, with great freshness, focus and clarity. It’s reminiscent of nectarines, lemon blossom, and lemon mousse, with a brush of roasted nuts. This estate makes superb cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon-sémillon as well.