Chardonnay seems to be a bit like Marmite: you either love it or you hate it.
However, despite this varied reputation it’s coming back into fashion with premium winemakers all over the world making top quality, luxurious wines. And what’s not to like? It’s versatile and resistant, allowing terroir to shine through and winemakers to make their mark.
London Cru winemaker Gavin is no newbie to Chardonnay, having made it in his native Margaret River and in Burgundy.
Our 2014 Chardonnay is ripe with peachy notes and a subtle toastiness. Lees contact (which is the proximity of the wine with the dead yeast cells that collect at the bottom of the barrel post-fermentation) adds weight and complexity. Gavin believes acidity to be the backbone of any wine and the 2014 has plenty of it, which balances nicely with the gentle oak flavours. The critics have agreed, with both Jamie Goode and Richard Hemming rating it highly.
The 2015 Chardonnay is all downstairs in the winery, as yet unlabelled. From the sneak preview tastings we’ve had so far, it’s set to be a fantastic wine, so look out for its release in the coming months. This year, we’ve sourced grapes from Limoux – an area with a growing reputation for quality Chardonnay in South West France.
Enough about London Cru. What you really want for International Chardonnay Day is cold hard facts about this ‘Marmite’ grape, and maybe a glass or two of the stuff itself...
- Chardonnay is a key grape in many sparkling wines, most famously Champagne
- People used to think Chardonnay was related to Pinot Noir and until about 1950 it was often labelled ‘Pinot Chardonnay’
- Lots of people think oak when they think of Chardonnay, but Chardonnay can be unoaked (for example, Chablis). If a Chardonnay is aged properly in an oak barrel, the wine because textured, rich and creamy with buttery flavours. If it’s not the result is a crisp, mineral wine with green apple flavours
- Chardonnay loves chalky, limestone soil which helps give the final wine freshness and minerality
- Although Chardonnay is gaining popularity again in the UK, the US are way ahead of us with Chardonnay coming in as the top selling white varietal in the States
If that has got you in the mood, pour yourself a glass to enjoy now and visit the London Cru website to order our 2014 Chardonnay.