OI Chardonnay Tasting with Bob Campbell, 29 July 2010

OI hosted, and Bob Campbell MW presented, a 12-wine tasting of Chardonnay from Burgundy, New Zealand, and Australia at The French Bistro, for local winegrowers in Martinborough. My abbreviated notes follow. The tasters were asked to select a preferred wine (*) in each flight and the highest number of preferences decided the issue.

Flight One (in tasting order)

Neudorf 2008 Moutere $75 – restrained nose, rich new world style.
Girardin 2007 Puligny Combettes $140 – funky, high extract, great texture.
Coldstream Hills 2006 Reserve $NA – acid-driven texture, complex, mid-weight, balanced. *
Craggy Range 2008 Les Beaux Cailloux $62 – rich yet elegant, finesse and length.

Flight Two (in tasting order)

Fevre 2008 Chablis $43 – funky, fresh, mineral, crisp.
Fevre 2008 Chablis Vaulorent 1er Cru $90 – clean, mid-weight, great texture, minerality.*
Fevre 2008 Chablis Vaudesir Grand Cru $135 – brighter fruit, mineral, touch phenolic.
Toolangi 2006 Yarra Valley $50 – rich, complex new world style. oak dominant finish.

Flight Three (in tasting order)

Te Mata Elston 2008 $35 – soft, seamless with great texture and balance.
Bouchard 2007 Puligny Montrachet Folatieres $170 – pure but rather closed, time?
Bouchard 2007 Meursault Genvrieres $150 – fat, rich, delicious.*
Bouchard 2007 Chevalier Montrachet $500 – elegant yet powerful, texture and length.

My three general observations from the tasting are:

- price and preference were poorly correlated, excellent wines at widely varying prices.
– Chablis remains a unique expression of Chardonnay.
– Style parameters of quality Burgundy and quality New World Chardonnay surprisingly convergent with Burgundy showing more fruit to complement their texture and extract and lovely texture and balance now coming to the fore in the top New World examples.

Roger Parkinson
July 2010

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