Patritti 'Merchant Series' Chardonnay, McLaren Vale, Australia 2016

Patritti Merchant Series Chardonnay.jpg
Patritti Merchant Series Chardonnay.jpg

Patritti 'Merchant Series' Chardonnay, McLaren Vale, Australia 2016

16.95

You know that cliché in horror movies when someone is lying in bed and they suddenly sit bolt upright with their eyes wide open in abject terror. That’s what Australian winemakers do when they remember the Chardonnays that they used to make in the 1980s. Wines so yellow with overripe fruit that they looked as if they should contain specimens from the biology department. Thankfully, things are looking a lot brighter these days, including the wines. Grapes are picked earlier to retain freshness, oxygen is held at bay, oak has taken a back seat and alcohol levels have dropped, so the wines are much more appetising. In fact, one of Australia’s great selling points is that its wine regions can bring grapes to full physiological ripeness without letting the sugar ripeness, which precedes it, get too far ahead. It’s a question of managing yields, maintaining healthy vines and picking at the right time.

Here’s a seriously delicious Chardonnay with a relatively light 12.5% alcohol, which nonetheless has ample fruit concentration and is able to handle the delicate toasty influence from the French oak. Aromas of white nectarine and lime are elevated by notes of toasted pine nuts, wood spice, lemon oil and cedar wood shavings, giving the wine a sense of sophistication that is uncommon at this price point. A great value Chardonnay, which, at £16.95, adheres to our mantra that you won’t find better for less. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. Drink now-2022.

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