Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

94

2015 Neudorf, Moutere Chardonnay, Moutere, Nelson

£35, 14%, From the winery

Consistently one of New Zealand's best Chardonnays, this is a rich, leesy, barrel-fermented style that treads the line (successfully, I might add) between opulence and pithy freshness. Citrus, oatmeal and honeyed notes are complemented by subtle vanilla sweetness and lovely, understated concentration. 

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92

2015 Neudorf Twenty Five Rows Chardonnay, Moutere, Nelson

£21, 13.5%, Available from the winery

Neudorf makes some of the most characterful Chardonnays in New Zealand. This is their unoaked, Kiwi-meets-Chablis style that sess no oak, but seven months on lees to pick up some extra texture and weight. Supple and fruity, with notes of white peach and pear, taut acidity and a long, satisfying finish. 

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91

NV Graham Beck, Brut, Western Cape

£13.99, 12%, Majestic

Bready, tangy and well balanced, this great value bubbly from the Cape's leading fizz producer would give a lot of basic Champagnes a run for their euros. Leesy, complex and frehsh with the Chardonnay providing acidic backbone and structure. 

 

 
 

92

NV Les Pionniers, Champagne

£16.99, 12, The Co-operative

With the way the pound is behaving at the moment, it's impressive that the Co-op can keep the price of this stunning frizz from Piper Heidsieck under £17. It's a classy, toasty, mouth-filling bubbly with creamy bubbles, based on the red grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, but with 20% Chardonnay providing a citrus-edged tang of acidity. The best value Champagne in the country. 

 

 
 

95

2010 Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard, Kent

£60-80, 12%,

An ambitious - and ambitiously priced - single vineyard blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the producer that continues to lead the English sparkling wine revolution. The bubbles are particularly fine here, the low dosage beautifully judged, the acidity refreshing and citrus-edged, while the bready, leesy, autolysis-influenced flavours linger tantalisingly on the tongue. Classy stuff. 

 

 
 

93

2015 Thistledown Suilven Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

£20-£30, 13%, Alliance Wines

One of those wines that tastes every bit as good as it looks, this Scottish/Australian collaboration eschews the leaner, reductive, early picked style that's favoured by some winemakers Down Under in favour of something a little more substanial and textured. Deftly oaked, oatmealy and refreshing, with a focus and minerality that wouldn't look out of place in the Côte de Beaune. 

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90

2013 Philippe Michel Chardonnay, Crémant du Jura, Jura

£7.49, 12%, Aldi

Consistently among the best value whites in the Aldi range (and that's a high bar to clear), this Jura fizz is frothy and tangy, showing notes of pear tart, a hint of brioche and the structure and acidity you expect from cool climate Chardonnay. 

 

 
 

89

2014 Thistledown Great Escape Cool Climate Textural Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

£13-15, 12.5%, Alliance Wine

A fruity, modern Aussie Chardonnay from the cool (well coolish) Adelaide Hills, where the oak is unintrusive and the pure pear and peach fruit is allowed to express itself. The result is one of those whites you want to glugg by the glass in your nearest wine bar. 

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91

2014 Tumbarumba Chardonnay, Tumbarumba, New South Wales

£12, 13%, Marks & Spencer

An impressive example of the new, cool climate style of Australian Chardonnay that takes Burgundy as its inspiration. Tangy, bright and crunchy, with citrus-fresh acidity, subtle oak and lovely focus and length, this is a classy New World white that will age further in bottle. 

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91

2013 Bleasdale Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills

£9.95, 12.5%, The Wine Society

Anyone who doubts that the Australian Chardonnay revolution is one of the most exciting trends in the world, right now, booting the old "sunshine in a glass" cliché into the Great Southern Ocean, should join The Wine Society and get hold of a bottle of this remarkable wine from the cool climate Adelaide Hills. Burgundy could only dream of providing such value at under £10. Fresh, minerally and yeasty, with subtle oak and a savoury undertone, it tastes like a really good Saint Aubin. Drink over the next five years. 

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