Wine editor MARY DOWEY selects an AUSTRALIAN CHARDONNAY as her bottle of the week …
Yering Station Little Yering Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2016
A fantastically elegant, stylish, subtle Australian Chardonnay? Believe me, yes. I feel I need to labour the point because so many drinkers seem to think Aussie Chardonnay is still the heavy pineapple-and-butterscotch confection that seemed initially exotic and then just plain tiresome when it first hit Ireland nearly 40 years ago. It isn’t. Heaps of Chardonnays from Down Under are gloriously restrained these days – and this is one.
Yering Station, the winery that produces it, has always had a particular interest in Burgundy’s two star grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both of which thrive in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. When I visited it some years ago the winemaker was Tom Carson, a passionate Burgundy fan, and I remember thinking his wines presented an impressive challenge to plenty back in France. Now, even though Tom has moved on, Yering Station continues to produce smart wines with a distinctive Burgundian edge – at prices that Burgundy would struggle to match.
You’ll find appealing notes of lemon and melon here, cushioned by a smooth creamy texture and the underlying firmness typical of a wine half of which has been fermented in barrel and all of which, after blending, has spent nine months in French oak. Even so, the oak influence is discreet – not in any way overpowering.
To enjoy Little Yering at its best, don’t over-chill it – and don’t drink it without food. This is a bottle to put on the table with a cheese frittata; fish pan-fried in butter; chicken marinaded in lemony olive oil; pork with apple sauce… or indeed a hundred other light-to-middleweight dishes. It’s a spring-into-summer white that will also slip down well with main course salads as the weather warms up, so an extra bottle (or three) is unlikely to go astray.
From Nolans, Dublin 3; Donnybrook Fair, Dublin 4; Next Door, James’s St, Dublin 8; Dwans, Ballycullen, Dublin 24; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; 1601, Kinsale; Beer Garden, Turners Cross, Cork, about €19.
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