Wine Varieties

The many facets of Chardonnay

Chardonnay continues to be one of the most popular white wines in Australia.

Chardonnay continues to be one of the most popular white wines in Australia. The famed French wine region of Burgundy is the spiritual home of this great grape but such is its versatility that is grown all over the world. Cultivated from regions as diverse as the South of England to New Zealand’s South Island, Chardonnay is the most widely planted white grape in Australia.

 

The 1980s saw a gold rush in Chardonnay in Australia. Generous oak exposure made for complexions of deep yellow, butter on the palate and toffee on the nose. This rich style, or perhaps its popularity, led to some wine lovers pinning their colours to the ‘Anything but Chardonnay’ (ABC) movement.

 

This period was followed by an oversupply of commercial Chardonnay as producers responded to a growing consumer market. The result was too many two-dimensional wines lacking the kind diversity and complexity that Chardonnay and Australian winemakers can achieve.


Today Australia makes world-class Chardonnay favouring balance, elegance and freshness over boldness. Australian winemakers create unique and bright, crisp Chardonnay using one of the world’s most popular grapes. This is your chance to sample some of what Australia has to offer when it comes to Chardonnay.

Value Chardonnay Recommendation

The perfect entry-level wines, these six are made up of four wineries rated 5 red stars by James Halliday and two more brilliant regional offerings from the Barossa and Padthaway. Enjoy the 2016 Tyrrell's Ashmans, 2016 Grant Burge Hayburner, 2016 Hardys Cellar Collection, 2015 Hidden Gate Barossa, Tolley Regional Selection and 2016 McWilliam’s. You'll find delicious stonefruit characters like peach and nectarine as well as subtle vanillin oak hints - the sign of a great winemaker.

 

Premium Chardonnay Recommendation

These Premium wines are for those who want more from their Chardonnay now or after a few years of careful cellaring. Discover the 95-point Forrest Hill Clock 8, the medal-winning Dovetail and the 2015 Gallows The Bommy that follows in the footsteps of the multi-award winning 2014 vintage. You'll also experience 2015 Redemption Chardonnay from the exciting Tumbarumba region, the unique Byron & Harold Wheelabout Margaret's Muse Chardonnay and the Tash Adelaide Hills Chardonnay from award-winning winemaker Natasha Mooney.

 

Chardonnay food pairing

The variety of Chardonnay styles means there are no rules when pairing with food. There are however some guidelines and the “white with white” approach has some resonance.

 

White meats like chicken and fish pair readily and well with Chardonnay. Creamier sauces also work well with aged Chardonnays. Spicy Asian food is a better match for leaner, more restrained Chardonnays with their characteristic acidity.


Less complex, more accessible Chardonnays offer crisp, clean taste and work well with salads and can provide relief from deliciously sticky textures of barbecued meats.

File under:

  • Chardonnay
  • White Wine