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Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2012
Pair with freshly shucked oysters.
After working for some of the most diverse and exciting wine regions around the world, Peter Caldwell has returned to his roots. Born in country New South Wales and raised on a farm in Tasmania, Peter fell in love with the wine industry while working with Tasmanian wine pioneer Graham Wiltshire at Heemskerk. In fact, the young Caldwell peppered his mentor with so many questions that it was Wiltshire who suggested Peter move to South Australia and study winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College.
Following his studies Peter consolidated his knowledge by working for wineries in Burgundy, Bordeaux, California and New Zealand, before returning to Tasmania to take up a position as winemaker/viticulturist with Josef Chromy Wines. Passionate about the continued potential of the Australian wine industry, Peter now brings his experience to Dalrymple and the intricacies and delicacies of Pinot Noir.
Directly south of the city of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula wine region, the cool-climate island of Tasmania has earned an honorable reputation as the country’s finest producer of sparkling wine. Naturally the region also excels in top quality still wines from Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, all distinguished because of a high natural acidity. Most of the Tasmania vineyards cluster around the eastern side of the island from north to south.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.