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Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2014
Superb alongside grilled Pacific Sea Bass with a caper butter sauce.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Shaw and Smith believe that sound environmental practices make sense. Our practical approach aims to respect the soil, cut water use, recycle, and cut energy and greenhouse emissions.
The Adelaide Zone refers to the super zone in South Australia containing the Mount Lofty Ranges Zone (Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains and Clare Valley), Fleurieu Zone (Currency Creek, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, and Southern Fleurieu) and Barossa Zone (Barossa Valley and Eden Valley).
The Adelaide Hills region is distinguished and beautiful, offering a cool respite in the summer for Adelaide city dwellers. With vineyards planted fairly high in elevation at 1,500 to 1,800 feet, it is known for its particularly fine, citrus-driven Sauvignon blanc.
However, Piccadilly Valley, the part of Adelaide Hills closest to the city, was first staked out by a grower named Brian Croser, in the 1970s for a cool spot to grow Chardonnay, then uncommon in Australia. Today a good amount of the Chardonnay goes to winemakers outside of the region for blends. Not many wineries were ever permitted to build wineries here, since it is essentially an eastern suburb of the city.
Producers experiment with other cool-climate loving aromatic varieties like Pinot gris, Viognier and Riesling. Charming sparkling wine is also possible, which is made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay. On its north side, lower, west-facing slopes make full-bodied Shiraz.
The Adelaide Plains is a hot region northwest of the Adelaide Hills that produces simpler, value-driven wines.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.