chardonnay and the barwang bargain

August 6, 2010  |  wine review

Chardonnay in general

It has amused me how the herd flocked to sauvignon blanc and then pinot gris, following what is trendy. Neither of these varieties can offer the complexities and sheer drinking pleasure that a good chardonnay does. The ABC (anything but chardonnay) movement was probably borne as a result of people’s experiences with some pretty dodgy high yielding product, together with slightly higher than acceptable levels of residual sugar in accessible wines.

At the other end of the spectrum, some of the big buttery styles made with malolactic fermentation, were unattractive to many consumers. While some marketers have recently made a virtue out of unwooded chardonnay, complexity that comes from some time in wood makes for attractive styles, as long as the fruit is not overpowered.

Chardonnay is the white variety of burgundy, used to produce some masterpieces that are gob smackingly good. We have an abundance of chardonnay in Australia and seriously good wines are within reach of consumers on $15 to $20 budgets.Today’s discovery is one of these.

Barwang 2008 Chardonnay

Barwang is part of the McWillam’s stable, better known for the red wines sourced from the Young area. This chardonnay is from Tumbaraumba, an exciting emerging wine region from southern NSW.

It represents exceptional value for money. I bought this bottle for $20 at Vintage Cellars but with the current 30% case discount on offer, it came in at a remarkable $14. This is chardonnay that can stand up against the legends like Eileen Hardy, Coldstream Hills, Pierro and Leeuwin Estate – all more than $50 a bottle.

My tasting notes follow:

Restrained and attractive nose with subtle lime overtones. Fresh flavours open to complexity in the glass, which will develop over time. Shows delightful mineral and flinty characteristics that combine with the gentle fruit salad of pears, apples and white peaches. Lovely creamy texture and just enough wood treatment. Balanced and beautiful with limes and sweet fruit to the very last. 94/100

1 Comment

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