In the March issue of National Liquor News, our wine tasting panel sipped and swirled their way through a selection of Chardonnay. They were pleasantly surprised by the evolution of Chardonnay since the 1990s, finding some lovely and well-made wines from right around Australia.

As you can see, our judges comments were overwhelmingly positive, and speak highly of the quality of wines being produced out of the 2018/2019 vintages.

“The wines have some lovely layers. Cool climate is where Chardonnay seems to be finding its home.” – Christine Ricketts

“The commercial wines showed restraint and balance and there were some great value / well-made wines in the under $15 bracket.” – Renee Foster

“The Adelaide Hills and Western Australian wines were the strongest.” – Mark Bradstreet

“Most of the Chardonnay I tasted was in a lighter more modern style. It has been fascinating watching the evolution of style in Australia since the 90s. Even the heavy styles are more elegant and refined.” – Tom Lynar

“On the whole, Australian Chardonnay is in a good spot currently – the blousy 90s were overcorrected to lean and mean, austere offerings. But the current trend of more generous fruit held in check by good acidity, when done well can be a real crowd pleaser for all palates.” – David Wright

“Strong varietal characteristics. Many wines lacked strong acidity making them more suited to drink now with subtle flavoured foods.” – Nigel Burton

Here are some of the highest scoring Chardonnays from the March Wine Tasting Review.



2017 Pooles Rock Premiere Chardonnay (95 points)

Region: Hunter Valley

Distributed by: Agnew Wines

“Great mouthfeel, very pleasant and layered.” – Christine Ricketts




2018 Rob Dolan White Label Chardonnay (95 points)

Region: Yarra Valley

Distributed by: Nelson Wine Company

“Gold in colour with a big buttery nose. Weighty mouthfeel with well-balanced fruit and a medium finish.” – Emma Fogarty





2019 Brokenwood Chardonnay (94 points)

Region: Beechworth

Distributed by: Samuel Smith & Son

“Intense nose, bold tropical fruits, good balancing acid, excellent depth and length.” – Renee Foster




2018 Giesen Estate Chardonnay (92 points)

Region: Hawkes Bay

Distributed by: Oatley Fine Wine Merchants

“Creamy, green apple skin, ruby apples, nashi pears and a subtle hint of oak. Lovely firm but elegant finish.” – Andy Milne




2018 Devil’s Lair Margaret River Chardonnay (95 points)

Region: Margaret River

Distributed by: Treasury Wine Estates

“Mineral and flinty but balanced with weight and texture.” – Andy Milne




2017 Brockenchack Charli Jaye Chardonnay (91 points)

Region: Eden Valley

Distributed by: Brockenchack Wines

“Cheesecake on the nose. Very unique flavours, palate is very bright and acidic.” – Emma Fogarty



2018 Taylors Jaraman Chardonnay (94 points)

Region: Clare Valley / Margaret River

Distributed by: Taylors Wines

“Nice acid balance, fruity peach, pear, creamy cashews, balanced and lingering.” – Christine Ricketts



2018 Patritti Merchant Chardonnay (89 points)

Region: Adelaide Hills

Distributed by: Vinsight (NSW/ACT); Put a Cork in it (VIC); Wine Solutions Australia (SA); Patritti (Rest of Aus)

“Rich nose, robust yet balanced flavours. This one is for the old school Chardonnay drinker.” – Mark Bradstreet

The full National Liquor News wine tasting review can be viewed here.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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