5 Dec 2013
Modern Chardonnay a change for the worse
Cool climate areas in Victoria have emerged in the last 20 years to produce some world class Chardonnay.
Think names like Kooyong, Oakridge, Giaconda, Bindi, Sorrenberg, Chardonnay and more to get the idea. These wines have proven their worth with a track record of ageing well and have the flavour and structure to match it with the great wines around the world.
In the last few years there has been a marked shift in style for Victorian Winemakers from the riper stone fruit with rich mouthfeel styles to a much drier lighter lower alcohol style more like the traditional Chablis than White Burgundy styles previously made.
Our climate lends itself to the richer wines that occur when the fruit is properly ripe. To achieve the "modern" lighter crisper style the grapes are being picked earlier and at times it shows with hints of green underripe flavours and harsh acidity. The pursuit of a style that is not suited to our climate is doing a great injustice to the wine drinking public. It seems to be an overreaction to some of the big blousey styles that went too far the other way in the 90,s.
The great wines have not followed trends and have the self confidence to stick to their own styles and produce consistent quality. They were accused of being tight and lean in the past and now they are seen as being old fashioned and fat. In a very short time the pendulum of wine fashion will swing back and the right balance might just be found.