DRINK DIFFERENT - A RICH WHITE FROM DOWN-UNDER
It is an indication of the shifting fads in the wine world that this month’s ‘alternative’ wine is an Aussie Chardonnay, and the ‘popular’ wine it is up against is a white Rioja. Not so long ago the exact opposite would have been true.
White Rioja has made huge strides in popularity in recent years. Offering a complex depth of flavor through its mixture of up to seven grape varieties (Viura, Garnacha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Malvasia, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Verdejo), it is the barrel fermentation which gives the full-bodied, rich and nutty flavours.
Australian Chardonnay, once the darling of every wine list, has fallen out of favour somewhat, but seek out a barrel-fermented version from Margaret River, and you will enjoy Rioja-like aromas of citrus, oak and caramelized apple, and baked apple fruit and even tangerine on the palate. A rich wine balanced with good acidity, this – like its Spanish counterpart -is a wine for food.