Morandé Reserva Chardonnay 2006

Sometimes, a string of busy days leaves you with few reserves towards the end of the week. I’m in that space right now, and wasn’t sure what to open tonight. There’s lamb on the stove, but somehow I don’t feel like the robust Shiraz that, in most cases, would be an obvious choice. No, tonight I need some space, and am taking a chance on this Chilean Chardonnay. Another Southern Cross Wines import. 

There’s no lamer descriptor than “grapey” (ok, “smooth” comes close), but sometimes you just need to call it how it is. And this smells instantly, unashamedly like fresh grape juice. That’s not all there is, but the point is it’s fresh and sunny in ways one might ordinarily associate with Australian wine. There are certainly complexities to the aroma profile; a hint of wheat, a little nougat oak, and some more tropical fruit like papaya. But this wine’s value seems to lie in the straightforward expression of its attractive fruit. So far so good.
The palate is unexpectedly acidic; in fact, it seems a little unbalanced to me and, as a result, quite nervy. On the plus side, it has good impact on entry, with a sizzling mouthfeel and bright, clean fruit. The line widens progressively until it reaches a mid-palate of quite gushy fruit, underlined by that chalky acidity. There’s no shortage of flavour, including some oak and winemaking influence that is caramel-like in nature. The flavour profile itself is straightforward and attractive, tending to leanness in terms of its character. A lightfooted after palate leads to more reverberant flavour through the finish. The finish itself is a highlight, and goes on for much longer than it has any right to. 
A lighter style, then. Structurally, I’m not convinced that it hangs together, due mostly to the character and volume of the acidity. The clean fruit flavours, though, keep me coming back. A good Summer white, and keenly priced.

Price: $A20
Closure: Cork

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