Chardonnay styles for all occasions

There is a style of chardonnay for all occasions.
There is a style of chardonnay for all occasions. Photo: iStock

Chardonnay comes in a multitude of guises. That's one of its charms. There is a style for all occasions; a wine for every season. Freshly shucked oysters? Chablis. Roast stuffed chicken? Rich Margaret River chardonnay. Runny brie? A buttery white burgundy or Californian. Delicate grilled crayfish tails? Maybe an elegant but intense Yarra Valley style. Heavily smoked charcuterie? Try a reductive, sulphide-laden New Zealander. A simple vegetarian terrine? Perhaps an uncomplicated, fruit-driven, unwooded Aussie from the Riverland. Horses for courses.

Denton Shed Chardonnay 2018, Yarra Valley, $30

This is a very Chablis-like Aussie chardonnay, with stony mineral aromas overlying intense grapefruit. Chalky aromas and textures. It's crisp, taut, restrained and delicate. A left-field example of fruit-driven chardonnay. Very stylish. Screw-cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.

Score: 92

Ageing? Drink now to six years.

Stockists include: City Wine Shop, Melbourne; Different Drop, Sydney

Kooyong Farrago Chardonnay 2018, Mornington Peninsula, $61

A stunning chardonnay that has vitality and pizzazz. Cashew-nut, creamy lees, lemon and grapefruit aromas and flavours. The palate is tautly composed and refined, intense and lingering. Screw-cap; 13.5 per cent alcohol.

Score: 96

Ageing? Drink now to 10 years.

Stockists include: Randall The Wine Merchant, Melbourne and Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW). 

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Greywacke Chardonnay 2016, Marlborough, $49

This smoky, burnt matchstick style of chardonnay is alive and well in New Zealand, where some of them take it to extremes. The sulphides resemble the smell of an electrical short. It also has terrific intensity and focus and a long-lasting finish. You just need to like the style. Screw-cap; 14 per cent alcohol.

Score: 93

Ageing? Drink now to 10 years.

Stockists include: Vaucluse Cellars (NSW); Nick's Wine Merchants, Armadale (Vic).