Joelle Thomson's Amazing Value Picks: Autumn white wines
by Abby Jones
Autumn already? Where did those dry days and hot nights disappear to? Cooler temperatures beg for bigger wines, such as the king of whites – Chardonnay, which is what this week’s wines are all about. Creamy, dry, full bodied and diverse. This lively bunch come from all over the world, offering plenty of exploration in the glass.
Argentina is home to some of the world’s highest quality lowest priced Chardonnays. Not least due to its incredible climate and vineyard aspects in the foothills of the Andes Mountains where altitude allows grapes to retain their refreshing acidity, such as in this high quality dry Chardonnay with its powerful citrusy flavours. It’s proof that the world’s most popular white wine can come from many different places today, including so-called ‘new world’ wine countries.
Talk about impressive. These big, creamy beautiful flavours from southern France come together in a fresh Chardonnay from the sun drenched Languedoc, which winds its way around the Mediterranean coast where the climate provides consistent warmth for grapes to ripen into deliciously flavoursome drops such as this one with its rich peachy flavours and its long, smooth finish. Outstanding value for money.
Here’s a crowd pleaser, if ever there was. Big, rich, peachy flavours, tick. Dry and full bodied, tick. Creamy with a buttery finish, tick. Great looking label, tick. Price is right. Tick, tick, tick. This wine shows Chardonnay from a warm climate at its best, thanks to the balancing fresh acidity in the wine, the ripe peachy flavours and its lingering finish.
Burgundy is the traditional home of Chardonnay in north east France and home to the grapes that made this full bodied, dry, crisp white wine.
It’s super fresh in style with flavours of citrus, white peach and a light creamy finish. This is a modern French dry white made to drink now or soon. It’s refreshing to taste such a bright, clean style at this price from such a traditional wine region. It is sealed with a screwcap.
Here’s a wine that will appeal to lovers of big buttery Chardonnays. It’s made by the Norton Ridge Wine Company in California and has incredibly ripe stone fruit flavours, a full body and lingering, dry, nutty flavours on the finish. Very appealing as a wine to drink now or soon.
Another goodie from the Norton Ridge Wine Company with big, soft, creamy flavours and a full body. It’s three years old and is beginning to develop complex flavours of spice, which come from the oak aging process that is typically used to add body and complexity to Chardonnays. A good drink now or soon.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com.
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!