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d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 1998
d'Arenberg was amongst the pioneers of the variety in the district, releasing our first bottling of Chardonnay in 1984 and we have released a varietal Chardonnay each year since then.
Given time to prove its longevity and not served over chilled, d'Arenberg's The Old Olive Grove McLaren Vale Chardonnay develops intense, complex honey, cashew, fig and soft toast aromas. Typically, butterscotch, light caramel and hints of fresh tobacco are evident too. The fresh structured mid palate retains its texture but opens slowly into generous sweet banana butterscotch flavours with hints of smoky bacon and green olive tastes before finishing with a persistent developed stonefruit and chalky texture as have more than a decade of. previous vintages. A mature d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay produces a rich, rolling generous and complex finish balanced by long, clean, refreshing acidity.
Known for opulent red wines with intense power and concentration, McLaren Vale is home to perhaps the most “classic” style of Australian Shiraz. Vinified on its own or in Rhône blends with Grenache and Mourvèdre, these hot-climate wines are deeply colored and high in extract and alcohol, with signature hints of dark chocolate and licorice. Cabernet Sauvignon is also produced in a similar style, as are ripe, tropical-fruited Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
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.