Wirra Wirra The 12th Man Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills

This Wirra Wirra The 12th Man Chardonnay hails from the Adelaide Hills in Australia and is aged in French oak.

Australia was the first country to give us big, ripe, buttery Chardonnay – a style that spread across the (New) World only to be usurped in a backlash against oak first by pungent kiwi Sauvignon and more latterly by the ubiquitous Pinot Grigio. It also led to a backlash in the style of Australian whites themselves.

This wine reminds me of what was great about Aussie chardie before it seemed to lose its way becoming either too sweet or too monolithic- or even nowadays, distinctly cool-climate.

Golden in the glass, it has a toasty-yeasty-oaky, slightly pungent nose with vanilla spice.

On the palate, there is ripe tropical pineapple fruit and layers of sweet, toasty, buttery, oatmealy oak cut through with crisp acidity and good leesy depth with added complexity from the wild yeasts used.

Whether you like this wine probably depends on whether you like lots of sweet toasty, buttery oak; personally, I do – especially given that it is somewhat out of fashion at present.

Something of a blockbuster personality, it needs big food to match and would pair well with an autumnal dish of roast chicken or pork with roasted parsnips, butternut squash and mashed swede.

£16.99 from Ocado; provided for review.


Wirra Wirra – http://www.wirrawirra.com/

Ocado – http://www.ocado.com/

This wine at Ocado – http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Wirra-Wirra-12th-Man-Chardonnay-2011/65990011

Copyright Tom Lewis 2012

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About Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis is a wine writer and educator from Cambridge with a particular interest in Austria and France. His comments have been published on JancisRobinson.com, Local Wine Events, as well as in the local press in his hometown of Cambridge, UK. When it comes to buying wine, Tom’s philosophy is to buy as close as possible to where it comes from. He writes a regular blog, the Cambridge Wine Blogger which launched in 2009 and is a presenter for the Cambridge Food and Wine Society. To read more of Tom’s work, please check out cambridgewineblogger.blogspot.com
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