Waipara Hills Chardonnay 2011

What with all the Chardonnay play of late, it can be disconcerting to taste an example that isn’t trying to say something new (or old) and bold about how the varietal should taste.

This wine, at first, is self-effacing to the point of blandness. It’s not overtly worked, nor it is self-consciously lean. It’s not much of anything, really, until you realise that it just is, throwing straightforward fruit notes that are part citrus, part stonefruit. It’s totally varietal, if not terribly exuberant in its expression. There’s just a hint of winemaker input in a caramel edge that seems the only embellishment on what is otherwise a pure, fruit-driven style.

The palate maintains the simple purity shown on the nose. It is, again, all about fruit flavours — pineapple, nectarine, lemon. Quite simple and not massively intense, but pretty and unpretentious. Acid is firm and fresh, and the wine fans out softly through the finish in an attractive manner.

In the end, that this wine struck me because it does not sit at a stylistic extreme perhaps says more about me than the wine. It’s nice, though, to taste a straightforward Chardonnay now and then. A pretty antidote to all the fuss.

Waipara Hills
Price: $A22
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Sample

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