Friday, December 21, 2012

down under giving us a chard to get down with

2009 Nugan Estate Frasca's Lane Vineyard Chardonnay | King Valley | Victoria

And then we moved onto a chardonnay from Victoria, from a sub-appellation called King Valley. It's located in northeastern Victoria, centred on King River, and is known as an agricultural region. Vineyards are planted to a wide range of varietals, a great number of them Italian. Nugan Estate is a large producer, owning vineyards in Riverina, King Valley, and McLaren Vale, and sourcing fruit from Coonawarra. The notes for this wine can be found here.

Pale colour, almost close to the previous riesling. Finesse and delicacy on the nose - it's clearly a chardonnay, with a buttery roundness to the aroma, but there's fine mineral elements as well. Great handling of the extract on the palate, on a long, bitter-tinged finish. Again, a vibrant, exciting style of chardonnay that has structure yet elegance. Bottled under screwcap as well.

Having gone through a good sized Australian wine tasting recently, it's apparent to me that their white wines are infinitely more interesting than their reds. And why? Acidity and freshness, that's why. As drinkers, we need to get over this nonsense that high alcohol and obscene amounts of oak equals quality - wasn't this whole bigger, bolder, better crap dead and done with? Here's a test to check the quality of a wine, and it's a simple one: don't judge a wine on a single glass. If you can finish the entire bottle, you know it's a good one. And with these two white wines - a single bottle isn't enough.


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