We’ve doubt that you have seen the news this week that a $15 Chardonnay, from Aldi, received trophies for the ‘Best White Wine of Show’ and ‘Best Chardonnay’ at the “Singapore Airlines Wine Show of WA” in Mt Barker.
It beat out a field of top Chardonnays, including Vasse Felix, Deep Woods Estate and Flametree. These wines range from $50 upwards and many people have asked us “how this happened!?…surely the more expensive wines are better??”
The wines awarded a Gold Medal, in the 2017 Chardonnay class, at the show are as follows:
- Stella Bella 2017 Luminosa Chardonnay
- Vasse Felix 2017 Heytesbury Chardonnay
- Flametree 2017 SRS Walcliffe Chardonnay
- Xanadu 2017 Stevens Rd Chardonnay
- KarriBindi 2017 Chardonnay
- Deep Woods 2017 Single Vineyard Chardonnay
The Aldi Chardonnay beat these other 6, as well as the 136 other entries across classes for 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 & Older.
It is testament to how the Australian wine world is changing that this type of event occurs. Yes, the wines above, that won gold, are all excellent wines. They will age gracefully and provide much delight to owners of them in the future. We have several of them in our own cellar.
The main difference and (possibly) the reason for Aldi wine getting the gongs is the ‘approachability’ of their Chardonnay now. It is very nice and well made. It's obviously quality fruit and constructed by a skilled hand. It is drinking very well.
How long will it age for…our bet would be a couple of years at most. It is not made to cellar. It’s made to drink now.
The wines that came runners up are by no means lesser wines…they are simply made in a slightly different style, that lends itself to having better ‘age-ability’, which is the ability to cellar them and watch them evolve. This style also lends itself to being a bit tighter/coiled early in their lives but given time they really come into their own. We believe this will stand them apart in the future.
The Aldi wine is perfect for the majority of consumers in this modern age…people want things immediately…this wine is as ready as you will get. Grab a bottle off the shelf, get it cold (but not too cold) and glug it down. Perfect.
If you like Chardonnay or even if you are new to the varietal, we’d strongly suggest you give the Aldi wine a try (if you can still find it …it’s moving fast on the back of the awards). It’s a great introduction into Chardonnay.
So go buy 6 of the Aldi wines and 1 or two of the other Gold medal winners (we have all available) …You then have some Chardy to drink now (Aldi wines) and a few to try down the track (the other gold medal winners). You won’t be disappointed.
Toby & Tom
The views in this article are the opinions of The Vine House.