Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning could have been writing in celebration of Chardonnay when she penned her famous Sonnet 43: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height.”
On 26 May the whole world celebrated that “depth and breadth and height” – because it was International Chardonnay Day.
And what’s not to celebrate! Chardonnay is the second most planted white wine grape in the world and the fifth most planted grape overall. It is a chameleon among wines. It comes in many flavours and styles and matches so many types of food. Party on!
Chardonnay’s endless potential and depth of character has seen it described as “a red wine masquerading as a white.” From the classic, full bodied, oak-aged Chardonnays to the lean, minerality of young, un-oaked styles, to the light and zesty blanc de blancs Champagnes, Chardonnay earns it name as the “king of grapes”.
And if that isn’t enough to inspire the gathering of friends to celebrate the joys of Chardonnay on 26 May then consider this. On the flavour and aroma wheel of wine descriptors, its characteristics virtually populate the whole compass. Chardonnay can exhibit fruit flavours such as lemon, apple, pear, pineapple, passionfruit, peach, citrus/lemon zest and fig. Or floral attributes like honeysuckle, lemon balm, jasmine or apple blossom. It can even be tinged with almond, butterscotch, creamy, oily and waxy notes. And oak-aged Chardonnays can delivery further nuances of vanilla, butter, coconut, baked pie crust, caramelised sugar, crème brûlée and praline.
“International Chardonnay Day is party time…”
International Chardonnay Day is party time from the birthplace of Chardonnay in Burgundy, France – to the new world Chardonnays of Australia, New Zealand and the Americas – and everyone is invited.
Australian boutique French wine importer, DiscoverVin, recently added wines from Burgundy to its portfolio, which until recently had always presented independent producers from Champagne, Bordeaux and some ripping “hidden gems” from South West France.
But for 26 May this mob singled out its new Lupé-Cholet white Burgundies to be the life of the party. All five of the new Lupé-Cholet whites are tight, solid wines but you have to dips-your-lid to the coquettish Domaine Lupé-Cholet Mersault 2014. This ticks all the Mersault style boxes: buttery, nutty, honeyed hints with a touch of vanilla and spice from the oak. You could almost call it a delicate breakfast Chardonnay of butter and toast even a hint of marmalade and white peach. But as a 100% Chardonnay – it is a cracker! Thanks very much – make mine a double (magnum).