Friday, June 27, 2008

Lindeman's Padthaway Chardonnay, 2000

This wine is now sold as "Lindeman's Reserve Chardonnay," even though most vintages are produced from grapes primarily or solely from the Padthaway region. Just south of the main highway between Melbourne and Adelaid, Padthaway is part of what is known as the Limestone Coast, an area once underwater and now covered with limestone soil. Limestone soil, for me, means lovely mineral-laden white wines such as Chablis and Sancerre, but Aussies apparently value Padthaway more for Shiraz than Chardonnay. The Padthaway designation is still used for Lindeman's Reserve Shiraz, and there are other respected Padthaway Shiraz wines such as the Henry's Drive Reserve.

This wine has always been one of my favorite every day New World Chardonnays, and, as this 2000 illustrates, it ages well over six to eight years or even longer in some vintages. It's a medium deep gold, certainly not overly mature. Aroma and flavors are at a lovely stage--honey, melon, tropical fruit and butter. It has a creamy mouth feel but with enough acid to keep it lively. What I don't get is the limey/flint flavors that many limestone soil whites offer. I suspect the winemaker is too enamoured of the barrel ferment/leesy style (which admittedly is attractive and popular) to let any mineral elements surface.

For an $8 to $12 wine, I consider this a good value and buy it less frequently than I did a few years ago only because other good inexpensive whites have crowded it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment