Tamar Ridge (Australia) Chardonnay 2004
I tasted this Tasmanian Chardonnay alongside a very respectable Meursault 1er Cru from the 2003 vintage, and I have to say this bottle, at about one-third the price, had the edge. From a particularly cool vintage - even for the chilly wine region of Tasmania - this screwcapped wine captures an almost Sauvignon Blanc-like edge of vibrancy. That little herb and grassy note is soon outplayed by a mealy, almond and orchard fruit creaminess on the nose, with just a hint of toast from barrel fermentation and 10 months in French oak. On the palate there is a lovely juiciness and zesty citrus fruit quality, with just hints of sweeter, more exotic fruit. But the whole wine is checked and balanced by a tight core of dry, lemony acidity. £11.95 Laithwaites, Ameys Wines, Harrow Cellars. James Macmillan, JW Wines, Octopus, Edward Sheldon. Please note, Laithwaites are currently offering all wine-pages visitors a free £20 voucher, so a case of this wine would come down to £121 - just over £10 a bottle.