Tabalí (Chile) Chardonnay 2004
I cannot resist awarding WoTW to this wine, even though its availability is limited, and it can only be ordered by calling the hotline number below - whilst stocks last. From the cool, northerly region of Limari in Chile, I've been very impressed by the wines of Tabalí before, but this Chardonnay - which picked up a Gold in the International Wine Challenge - is an absolute beauty. Whole-bunch pressed before fermentation and ageing in French and American barriques, it has a sensational nose for fans of big, buttery and luscious Chardonnays, with layers of green fig and hazelnut, hot buttered toast and Brazil nuts, and a lush, tropical fruit character. In the mouth the toasty, creamy oak is evident, with a broad, juicy ripeness of fruit, but this has balance and freshness too, with only 13.5% alcohol, and a shimmering core of citrus fruit and crisp, fresh apple and mineral acidity. Terrific. £9.49, but £8.33 in Laithwaites' offer. Telephone 0870 444 8282.