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Chardonnay

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Catena Appellation (Tupungato) Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK BUT IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON THURSDAY. **

In 1902, Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery has remained under family control — now in its fourth generation — and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands. Owned today by Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura, Bodega Catena Zapata is known as the pioneer of fine wine from Argentina, and Nicolás is recognized as the vintner who revolutionized wine quality in Argentina. A trained economist, Nicolás began this revolution in the early 1980s and continues to challenge himself and his team to make wines that can be counted among the best in the world. His measured approach to viticulture has taken its place in wine history as the pioneer of Malbec and high-altitude viticulture.

Catena wines, first launched in 1992, set a new standard for quality in South America. The wines immediately proved the quality potential of Argentina and garnered the first outstanding reviews for Argentine wines from worldwide media. After more than 20 years, the wines of Catena continue to lead the way in Argentine viticulture and winemaking. The family and the winery’s employees take great pride in carrying on the tradition that began over a century ago.

See/click the link below for data on this wine from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Appellation Chardonnay 2018 - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

This wine has the unique expression of cool and high altitude vineyard sites.  Tupungato vineyards lend citrus notes with a crisp finish and a rich unctuous mouthfeel.  The wine has a beautiful pear and citrus flavors with crisp fresh minerality.  The wine is a delicate greenish color with light yellow notes.  The aroma is of fresh white peaches and pineapples and jasmine and magnolia.  The mouthfeel is tangible and rich yet clean and fresh on the finish. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£14.20

Catena Chardonnay 2019 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK BUT IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON THURSDAY. **

In 1902, Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery has remained under family control — now in its fourth generation — and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands. Owned today by Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura, Bodega Catena Zapata is known as the pioneer of fine wine from Argentina, and Nicolás is recognized as the vintner who revolutionized wine quality in Argentina. A trained economist, Nicolás began this revolution in the early 1980s and continues to challenge himself and his team to make wines that can be counted among the best in the world. His measured approach to viticulture has taken its place in wine history as the pioneer of Malbec and high-altitude viticulture.

Catena wines, first launched in 1992, set a new standard for quality in South America. The wines immediately proved the quality potential of Argentina and garnered the first outstanding reviews for Argentine wines from worldwide media. After more than 20 years, the wines of Catena continue to lead the way in Argentine viticulture and winemaking. The family and the winery’s employees take great pride in carrying on the tradition that began over a century ago.

For this wine, see/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Chardonnay 2019  - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

The Catena Chardonnay combines the unique expressions of these high altitude vineyard sites. The wine shows an intense greenish color with yellow notes. The extraordinary combination of these vineyards offer honey and tropical fruit flavors while lending notes of citrus, pears, peaches, and white flowers with a strong minerality and a delicated note of vanilla. The mouthfeel is clean, with a fresh, clean acidity.

ABV = 13.5%.

£13.95

Chateau Grezan Chardonnay 2019 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK! **

The viticultural history of the Cros-Pujol family began five generations ago, in 1877, on a very small parcel of Carignan between Autignac and Laurens. It was worked with a donkey and a horse, the harvests were vinified at the back of the family home by Jules-Anatole Cros, known as Costant, and his wife Anna, the first winemakers of the family. For the past 30 years, Château Grézan has expressed the very essence of Faugères wines. Produced from selected grapes, the Château Grézan wines combine respect for ancestral wine traditions and an open-mindedness to modernity. The vineyards of Château Grézan and the Cros-Pujol family now cover nearly 110 hectares in both AOP Faugères and IGP Pays d’Oc. 

This Chardonnay is released as IGP Pays d'Oc. Although grown on land within Faugères, Chardonnay lies outwith the varieties allowed for white Faugères, hence the broader IGP classification.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note on this wine from the team at Chateau Grézan (the sheet notably omits that the wine is left on its fine lees for some months after fermentation to increase body, complexity and longevity).

Chateau Grézan Chardonnay - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

Surprising vivacity and freshness for a Chardonnay from the South of France, but with some real tropical warmth, too. Subtle aromas of exotic fruits (some say kiwi fruit), ripe citrus (esp orange and grapefruit) and pineapple. On the palate, it further reveals these cirus and tropical flavours with the additional tastes of dry fruits and hazelnuts.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£11.05

De Loach Heritage Reserve Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and Biodynamic® viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF. 

For the 'Heritage Collection' series, Russian River Valley wines are combined with those from selected premier cool-climate growing regions in California, particularly the Central Coast, to produce an approachable, good value range. De Loach practises sustainable viticulture and minimally intrusive winemaking.

After moderate temperatures through the long growing season, California’s 2018 harvest was exceptional. Harvest was later than in 2017 due to consistent growing conditions and cooler temperatures, which allowed the grapes to mature slowly and be harvested at a high quality.

100% Chardonnay.

The majority of the must was cool fermented in stainless-steel tanks at controlled temperatures, to retain the fresh fruit flavours in the finished wine. The remaining fruit was barrel fermented, which produced a more richly textured wine. These wines were then blended together to produce a balanced, textured and fruit-forward wine.

This wine displays notes of orange blossom, pear and melon with herbaceous undertones. Immediately enjoyable, this wine is delightfully balanced with bright acidity and softness on the palate.

ABV = 13.5%.

£14.35

De Wetshof Estate Bon Vallon Chardonnay 2019 (1x75cl)

Top 15 award in the Chardonnay du Monde 2019 championship (out of 696 Chardonnays tasted).

"Classic varietal warmth and freshness - benchmark Chardonnay scents, perfect for blind tasting practice. Apple, lemon, melon, peach, crème anglaise: fresh and appetising. Fresh, bright, vivid and juicy on the palate; satisfying mid-palate fullness and roundness of contour, with clean fruit definition. Fruits are a little more tropical on the palate than on the nose. A delicious varietal wine". Andrew Jefford, Decanter, Aug 2015 (of the 2014 vintage).

The name De Wetshof has been synonymous with the production of fine wines in South Africa since the 1970’s. As the first registered wine estate in the Robertson Wine Valley, De Wetshof has become known internationally as South Africa’s eminent Chardonnay House due to the pioneering role it played in introducing this noble Burgundian grape to the country. The De Wet family’s winemaking heritage can, however, be traced back to 1694 when the first De Wets arrived at the Cape and immediately made a mark on the South African wine industry. Today, De Wetshof is one of the few third generation wine estates in South Africa. Here Danie de Wet, proprietor and cellarmaster, is assisted by sons Johann (viticulture and marketing) and Peter (winemaker). 

The Robertson Valley is characterised by cold winters and sunny summers, with an average annual rainfall of 350 – 400mm. In summer a fresh southerly breeze has a cooling effect on the vineyards, allowing the grapes to ripen evenly and in perfect balance. Nights are chilly and during summer months a mist often shrouds the vineyards until late morning. The dry climate and bracing breeze keep pests to a minimum, resulting in sparse spraying programmes. Soils rich in limestone and broken mountain rock on De Wetshof’s site-specific vineyards allow this wine to emit optimum varietal expression. 

Age of the vines: 10-20 years. 

The grapes are picked in the coolness of morning, and the emphasis is on capturing the natural complexities of the Chardonnay grape immediately for the making of this unwooded wine.

Once de-stemming, pressing and overnight settling are complete, the juice is racked-off from the sediment and pumped into stainless steel tanks for the alcohol fermentation. After fermentation the wine is left on the less under controlled temperatures. Weekly stirring of the lees ensures maximum flavours are released into the wine until ready for bottling.

Ageing potential: 6–12 years (say the producer; we think a little less, but there are marked parallels with the ageability of Chablis).

100% Chardonnay.

Danie de Wet pioneered this noble cultivar in South Africa and this Chardonnay is a fresh and expressive, unwooded version. Bon Vallon has a brisk and clean freshness leading into a wide spectrum of classic flavours including citrus, wild flowers and grilled nuts, with a nuanced minerality on the aftertaste. The nose is delicate with aromas of lemon, honeysuckle blossom and peach. The wine was matured on its lees to produce a vibrant, lemony dry wine with a yeasty and delicate nutty finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£11.70

Joseph Drouhin Macon-Lugny Les Crays 2018 (1x75cl)

Important note: this wine replaces Drouhin's 'standard' Mâcon-Lugny (M-L), which has been popular at Exel for some years. To be clear, 2016 was the last vintage of that wine; Drouhin no longer produce it.

This replacement is taken from a much smaller, high-quality vineyard area, the Les Crays lieu-dit (on high-limestone-content soils, hence the name) within the M-L appellation (indeed, the previous M-L drew heavily on this vineyard, but was also blended with grapes from outwith).

Depending on just what you like in your white Macon, this is almost certainly a better wine.

Founded in 1880 by the then 22 year old Joseph Drouhin, this famous Burgundy negociant is still family-owned. Of the current, fourth generation, Veronique Drouhin is the winemaker, Laurent is the brand ambassador in the USA, Philippe is in charge of the vineyards, whilst Frederic “conducts the orchestra”. Maison Joseph Drouhin owns extensive parcels throughout the region and in Chablis extending to 73 hectares, including the world-renowned Clos des Mouches, one of the earliest purchases made by Joseph. From Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche through to Meursault and to Corton Charlemagne in the Côte de Beaune, Echezaux to Clos de Vougeot in the Côte de Nuits, the  domaines produce a wide spectrum from Laforêt Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge to Grands Crus in Musigny and Chambertin.

Drouhin’s foremost concern is to express the exact character of each terroir. Since 1993 they have worked their vineyards to organic and biodynamic principles, “bringing natural answers to natural problems”. Vine stocks are grown in their own nursery to preserve their genetic heritage and control quality, and vineyards are ploughed by horse with treatments based on herb infusions and the use of natural predators instead of synthetic products. Planting is dense and yields deliberately kept low.

Vinification is traditional using indigenous yeasts and as little technical interference as possible, varied according to the needs of each terroir. Ageing takes account of the origin of each wine: stainless steel vats to enhance fruit and freshness in Chablis and Mâconnais, oak barrels to develop complexity and finesse in Côte d’Or. New oak barrels are made from oak trees individually selected by Drouhin which are then weathered for three years so that all coarse tannins can be eliminated. Their use, and the time the wine spends in them, are determined by the appellation and the vintage.

The progress of every wine is meticulously monitored and recorded at every stage; Drouhin were one of the first houses in Burgundy to apply bar codes to the barrels to ensure total traceability and every cork is stamped with Joseph Drouhin, the appellation and the vintage, in order to guarantee the authenticity of the wine.

For more detail on this, the Les Crays 2018, see blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Drouhin themselves.

Joseph Drouhin Macon-Lugny Les Crays 2018 - fiche technique

Chardonnay 100%.

The wine reveals an appealing freshness. It combines the maturity of the fruit and freshness over an almost saline structure. It shows a shining colour, a nose reminiscent of flower and peach, and a full mouth with a mineral finish.It can be served with summer salads, raw or grilled fish, tempura, roast chicken, vegetable and prawn wok dishes and goat's cheese.

ABV = 13.0%.

£13.60

Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc Hen and Chicken Chardonnay 2019 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2020 edition article, Aussie Chardonnay: 20 Wines To Snap Up (see blue link below). 

Larry Cherubino, Ad Hoc Hen And Chicken Chardonnay 2018 - June 2020 Decanter review

Named Winery of the Year by James Halliday and Matt Skinner, Larry Cherubino wants his wines to be distinctive and to speak clearly of their variety and vineyard site. He believes in paying meticulous attention to the vineyard, canopy and water management, picking at the right time and minimal intervention in the winery. Larry also makes wine under the Laissez Faire label, an exquisite range of natural wines which are the ultimate expression of site, made in small batches from hand harvested grapes. From delicate whites to opulent reds, all his wines have pure class and finesse.

A dry start to the winter was followed by timely spring rains. The summer was mild and dry with temperatures below 30°C which allowed the fruit to ripen very slowly, resulting in strong acidity levels for the whites and deep colours for the reds, with full flavours and lower sugar levels. 2018 was a very good vintage across the region.

The Chardonnay vines were planted in the Channybearup vineyard in 1999, which is located in Pemberton, Western Australia. The vines are planted at a density of 1,800 vines per hectare using Gin Gin clones onto their own rootstocks. Planted with a northern orientation, this maximises the sun's exposure to the vines and promotes even ripening, while irrigation ensures the optimum amount of water reaches the roots for growth. The soils are Genassic in formation.

The fruit was hand-picked, whole bunched pressed and then fermented with natural yeasts. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was aged in new and two year old oak, prior to being bottled. 

Chardonnay 100%.

A pale, beautifully balanced Chardonnay with hints of vanilla on the nose and a winning cool climate acidity. Careful oak treatment has resulted in a wine of depth and balance. An inviting and creamy wine with green apple, melon and citrus aromas enhanced by buttered brioche and a lovely freshness on the finish.

ABV = 12.5%.

£14.35

Pauletts Polish Hill River Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

Click this link for a video tasting of all three of the Pauletts Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz.

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide, this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

For this, their Chardonnay, here's Pauletts' own data sheet/fiche technique:

Paulett Polish Hill River Chardonnay 2018 - fiche technique

Chardonnay 100%.

A lightly oaked Chardonnay from Clare Valley in South Australia. A beautiful gold in colour, with aromas of ripe peach and nectarines. The palate is silky with lovely citrus and stone fruit flavours and well integrated oak which gives weight, structure and notes of vanilla and honey. The weight of the wine is perfectly balanced by the refreshing acidity which leads into a subtle, yet lasting finish.

Exel note: there's such a variation in Chardonnay styles, we thought we'd guide a little more: this is neither at the Chablis/Tasmania/cool-climate/ super-high-acidity end of the spectrum, nor at the fatter/Napa/Meursault end. It's pretty much bang in the middle: it has peachy/apricot-ty ripeness but also quite a whack of citrus. Oak/vanilla is noticeable but only light. There is good weight/depth, but still pretty high acidity. The video tasting says rather more!

ABV = 12.5%.

£14.30

Valdivieso Valley Selection (Single Valley Lot) Chardonnay, Gran Reserva 2016 (1x75cl)

Naming note: this wine has been available under two different names, hence the bracketed title(!), despite being the same wine. It was previously badged as the Single Valley Lot, but has now joined the fleet of Valley Selection wines from Valdivieso. Technically, the new label is entitled to draw grapes from a slightly wider area of the Leyda Valley, although we believe it will make almost no noticeable change to the wine.

Well-travelled Kiwi winemaker, Brett Jackson, has settled in Chile and much of Valdivieso’s success in recent years can be credited to his talent.

Based in Lontué in the Curicó Valley, Valdivieso has a wealth of vineyards and the quality of their terroirs is best shown by their Single Valley Lot/Valley Selection and Single Vineyard wines. The whole range encapsulates everything that Chile excels at: rich, vibrant flavours and smooth, glossy textures - and the wines deserve the multitude of gongs they have picked up in recent years.

100% Chardonnay.

The vineyards are located in one of the coldest areas of the Leyda Valley. Because of this proximity to the sea, the coastal haze is more prolonged during the day exerting all the coastal influence of the valley. Under these conditions the fruit ripens slowly, maintaining its natural acidity and the delicate citrus aromas of Chardonnay.

Harvest is by hand in the first week of April. Grape bunches go through a meticulous selection and are then pressed directly. 50% of the volume is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and the other 50% is fermented in French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation is not not allowed to occur, thereby preserving immediate fruit and acidity. The wine is stored for 12 months in French oak barrels (50%) and stainless steel tanks (50%).

Attractive and brilliant yellow green colour. Intense aromatic profile, pineapples, lemon rind and grapefruit with soft vanilla notes. Lively, crisp and refreshing acidity with citric flavours, full bodied, and a long, ripe finish. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.20
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