Good chardonnay is made in many places across Australia. Margaret River, three hours south of Perth, has established itself as one of the best of them over the past 40 years, and these days the wines are better than ever. In line with Australian chardonnays generally, Margaret River wines have evolved beautifully in style from simpler equations of ripe fruit plus oak, into wines of complexity, subtlety and refinement. The 2018 crop showcases this well.
Xanadu Exmoor Chardonnay 2018, $18-20
A wine of real purity, not super complex, but fine and elegant. Stone fruit, citrus, nougat and a light dusting of oak flow easily from nose through palate, and an appetising tingle of acidity gives it tang. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink over three years.
Stockists include: Midway Cellars, East Denistone (NSW); Melbourne Wine Store, St Kilda Road (Vic).
McHenry Hohnen Laterite Hills Chardonnay 2018, $36-$38
This reserved, savoury young chardonnay doesn't speak loudly of sweet fruit. Instead it's about grapefruity notes, lees and barrel ferment elements. Flavoursome, dry and serious, its moreish personality keeps you refilling your glass. Screw cap; 13.3 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink over six years.
Stockists include: Winehouse, Southbank (Vic); Bellevue Hill Bottle Shop, Bellevue Hill (NSW).
Suckfizzle Chardonnay 2018, $67-$70
Nectarine and citrus aromas are woven harmoniously through with subtle, nutty oak here. In the mouth it's superfine in texture with intense, succulent flavour, tight structure and a firm, long finish. Needs time to evolve. Screw cap; 13.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? One to eight years.
Stockists include: Randwick Cellars, Randwick (NSW); online at stellabella.com.au