Chardonnay is a white wine grape that is probably one of the largest produced wines in the entire world. Just because there are so many Chardonnay producers doesn’t mean that there aren’t the finer selections and collections of this ancient wine variety available for the dedicate discoverer. In fact, it means that there’s probably more and The Wine Collective, drawing on over 70 years of wine knowledge, has painstakingly curated the finest collection of this classic white wine exclusively for your enjoyment.
It’s not only Chardonnay that we specialise in, either. Our full collection of dazzling white includes all of the classic favourites like Italian style Prosecco, genuine Champagne from France, Pinot Grigio from both local producers and the world over, Sauvignon Blanc from the finest taste curators, stunning South Australian and international Riesling, Semillon, sparkling wine and dessert wine varieties. We source from an extensive range of wineries like Innocent Bystander, Vasse Felix, Crackerjack and Paringa Estate.
There are also fabulous White Blend Wines to sample from the finest experimenters and traditional producers. Enjoy an array of locally produced King Valley premium Australian wines as well as blends from farther afield like Chardonnay Semillon, Semillon Verdelho, Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Roussanne, as well as a selection of delectable Sweet White Wines.
For red wine fans we also have all of the classics from the finest producers including Pinot Noir, Rose wine, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Grenache and Cabernet Merlot. The Red Blend Wines don’t stop there either. Sample the best of the best from the Margaret River, South Africa, classic France and Italy, and South America, to name only but a few. Pour yourself a glass of Cabernet Malbec Shiraz, Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot, Shiraz Blend, Grenache Shiraz Mataro, Cabernet Blend and Grenache Shiraz Touriga among many, many more.
Is Chardonnay sweet?
The Chardonnay grape variety is largely considered one of the oldest grape variety to exist, and possibly one of the oldest grapes to actually occur from a cross-breeding of the Pinot Noir grape and the Gouais Blanc. Although not verified, it’s a logical conclusion to make given the difficulties associated with growing the Pinot Noir grape and its high levels of sensitives to changes in the climate and soil composition. The Gouais Blanc, on the other hand, was a very easy grape to grow. It makes sense that medieval winemakers would find the prospect of generating an easily grown grape that consistently produced high quality wine and that may very well have resulted in the Chardonnay variety so widely produced today.
But is it a sweet tasting wine? No. At least, it probably shouldn’t be but there is excellent Chardonnay produced with wide and varied flavour profiles that might appear sweet at first. Chardonnay is typically described at the quintessential dry white wine but some styles of Chardonnay can present as sweet depending on where the Chardonnay grape was grown and what kind of characteristics the winemaker was looking to evoke in their final product.
What does Chardonnay wine taste like?
Given how widely distributed this grape now is, wine snobs would like to say that a ‘good’ Chardonnay is hard to find. We don’t agree. In fact, we believe that we have found several excellent examples of this classic wine produced both here at home in Australia as well as world-wide. The reason why Australia, in particular, has such an affinity with this type of grape is because it’s a cool climate variety and Australia has a vast selection of climates to choose from, some of which are perfect for growing rich and versatile Chardonnay flavours.
When a Chardonnay has been stored in oak barrels, is not uncommon for the quality of the wood to penetrate and alter the character of the wine. In fact, winemakers rely on this, choosing the quality and origin of their oak very, very carefully to reflect the kind of flavour profiles that they’re looking for. These can include honey and vanilla tones which are usually more aromatic than palate landing but the nose does a lot of our tasting for us so Chardonnay can seem to be a very fruity, smooth and lightly balanced wine that almost might be described as sweet. Other common flavour profiles include tones of melon, peach, apple and pear. All of these are usually sweet tasting fruits, so it’s entirely likely that your excellent bottle of Chardonnay, while being the classic dry white wine, may indeed taste a little sweeter than you imagine.
It should never be too sweet, however, and here we fall afoul of large scale wine operations which tend to add sugar into their wines to make them less acidic and hope that the wine taster doesn’t realise. Fortunately, The Wine Collective specialises in unearthing premium wines from small and medium sized producers all over the world. We prefer the small, passionate operations who are tirelessly attempting year after year to produce the finest wine that they possibly can, and thoroughly enjoying every excellent effort after the next.
Food pairing options for an oaked and cool climate Chardonnay produced, for example, in the Mornington Peninsula or classic French Chablis style include shellfish, grilled and steamed fish, vegetable terrines, light pasta dishes and creamy vegetable soups. For Chardonnay wine produced in warmer regions like the Hunter Valley and Western Australia, New Zealand and Chile, you will likely want a slightly richer tasting dish like a fish pie, light pork and chicken dishes, poached salmon with a nice buttery sauce and pasta. For the full bodied oak aged Chardonnay wines from the Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley and California, you will want to increase the richness by a factor of one. Eggs benedict, roast chicken, rich fish, late summer vegetables like capsicum and corn, and cheddar cheeses all make for excellent selections.
Does chardonnay expire?
All white wines once opened will generally not last more than week and should be kept sealed and chilled, or at least a cool dry place, until ready to be drunk again.
To keep or store, a Chardonnay will last you about 2 to 3 years cellared, with a finer and aged variety likely lasting up to 7 years when carefully stored. All wine should always be stored in a dark, cool place to ensure that temperature variations don’t ‘cook’ them. If the bottled is corked, then the bottle should be stored lying flat to ensure that the cork never dries out and shrinks. This will remove the air seal the cork has made and allow oxygen into the bottle. It will also likely make the process of removing the cork a little bit harder as dried corks tend to crumble.
Ready to start your own Chardonnay tasting adventure? Order online from The Wine Collective and enjoy the fruits of over 70 years of wine knowledge and the painstaking collection of delicious varieties by wine experts who love to share what they love. Order online and enjoy direct delivery to your door anywhere in Australia. If you’re not sure where to start, ask a friendly wine consultant online and we’ll help you collect the finest tasting wines we know you’ll love.