On to the third of my Aldi tastings now and we’re back in Australia, but this time dealing with something a little bit more special.
When reviewing a wine I like to consider all aspects of it and, if having the word ‘Exquisite’ in the name is not enough, this wine hails from the Limestone Coast, which I find quite an exotic term and it transports me immediately to sunnier and foreign climes. For me, I can almost taste the minerality and warmth.
The Limestone Coast is fairly obviously named to highlight the geological make-up of the base soils of this region of Southern Australia, and that’s important when knowing that you’re about to try a Chardonnay. Chardonnay is of course a French grape, happiest in the quality wine regions of both Champagne and Burgundy. What may not be so well known is that both of these French regions have a Limestone base, and this bodes extremely well for this wine. As they’ve planted the right grape in the right place you know you’re probably in for a good tasting.
Exquisite Collection Chardonnay 2014, Limestone Coast, South Australia, 13.5%, £5.79
The wine is bottled under screw-cap, and I love the effect that the colour scheme has on the overall presentation of the bottle, with the ‘Royal’ blue off-setting the green/yellow of the bottle/contents very well. A nice clean scripted label compliments the whole, which also tells us that this is the product of one year, and that the wine is unoaked. This is an important point, as many New World Chardonnays faced a backlash a few years ago due to the addition of too much wood flavouring to bolster the sometimes neutral flavours of Old World Chardonnay.
Upon pouring the wine is a nice clear light straw colour with touches of gold. The nose is good, clear and nicely intense, almost plump (if that’s possible for just a scent). You can immediately understand that this is a rich creamy wine with a clear lemon and lime citrus hit, but also with deep honeyed characters and tropical pineapple. It’s an incredibly fresh sensation which again brings me back to those warm and sunny days, and I swear (if it’s not too wine-geek-fanciful) that I could taste ‘blue skies’. No? Let’s just say then that it is a full, evocative nose.
On the palate you again get the sensations of a pleasing density and fullness and, alongside the good weight you get the fresh burst of yellow fruits including lemon, Galia melon, and the aforementioned pineapple. There’s also a touch of florality, and a touch of honey (which I will assume to be the honeysuckle referenced on the label).
In addition to the clear fruits, this wine has much more to offer. There’s the added warmth from the 13.5% alcohol, a lush creamy spice (which comes from its time ageing on its yeast) and a discreet smokiness that rounds out the end palate. Overall this is a well-crafted, densely populated wine, and it’s easy to see why it forms part of the ‘Exquisite’ line. The length was equally as impressive as I’d gone away to do something else and realised some five minutes later that I could still taste it. Wonderful stuff.
I really like unoaked Chardonnay so didn’t actually pair this with food for this tasting. Whilst it was absolutely perfect on its own, the smokiness and richness of the flavours would pair very well with a sauce of the same nature, or seafood and light bites in order to bring out the yellow fruit notes. A sure-fire winner and another one which, at the price-point of £5.79, is truly remarkable value for money.
With thanks to Aldi UK for supplying the bottle used in this tasting.