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label Errazuriz (Chile) Wild Ferment Chardonnay 1998
Is this South America's best Chardonnay? It certainly has to be in the running. I've tasted the wine many times over the last few vintages and very few other Chardonnays - from anywhere - can touch it at the price for sheer complexity and intrigue. The colour is pale to medium gold. The nose is nutty, yeasty, rich and dry with nuances of minerals and honey, figs and melon. The oak is subtle, adding a sweet vannilin softness. On the palate it is quite chewy with flavours of quince, fig and butter, peach and apricot fruit and again a nutty, herbal edge that adds a savoury quality. The texture is nicely creamy and the finish has enough acidity to keep it fresh, interesting, and pure. Errazuriz bottle this with a synthetic cork, so either they intend it to drink young, or they are more convinced than some of the long-term effectiveness of synthetics? Well worth trying. 8.99 Oddbins, Unwins (10/00)