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Chardonnay in decline? Have your say

Decanter.com has an interesting story about the declining sales of Chardonnay in the UK accompanied by an interesting quote from Oz Clarke:

Chardonnay has made some of the world’s greatest wines. Everyone appreciated it – until Bridget Jones. Before Bridget Jones, Chardonnay was really sexy. After, people said, ‘God, not in my bar’.

I’ve taken a quick glance at Majestic’s figures which show Chardonnay sales broadly level – although interestingly we now sell significantly more Sauvignon Blanc than Chardonnay. Personally, I’m actually drinking more Chardonnay than I used to; I have always enjoyed white Burgundy, especially Chablis, but I’m also the more more elegant wines coming from New World nowadays. Chardonnays from producers like Yering Station in Victoria, Vasse Felix in Western Australia and Vergelegen in South Africa regularly appear on my dinner table.

Just for fun, what do you think?

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11 thoughts on “Chardonnay in decline? Have your say

  1. I used to be a dyed in the wool ABC (anything but chardonnay) but Chablis and white Burgundy definitely converted me. However, I think Chardonnay is still the grape about which I am most fussy …

  2. I regularly host a series of small-group wine tastings that tend to fill up quickly. But at my most recent scheduled tasting – of Central Coast Chardonnay wines – nobody signed up! Geez, did I miss a “No @#$%! Chardonnay” sequel to Sideways? 🙂

  3. We were also firmly ABC and were very surpised when we found out that our favourite Chablis was chardonnay!

    Now we regularly seek out and enjoy unoaked old-world chardonnay – the complex and subtle range of flavours from this grape are a delight.

    I blame the over-enthusiastic oaking that is common to new-world chardonnays for its decline.

  4. I had a conversation with a friend of mine about chardonnay, and I stated that in my opinion, it is the greatest grape (and certainly the Burgundy whites demand a hefty price) – she disagreed “I hate chardonnay” she said “but I love Chablis” – and therein lies the problem!
    World wines are so confusingly labelled – generally the New World by grape and generally the Old Wine by region. It’s all about cracking the code, and until you do, people don’t know that the wording on the label is a grape or a place!
    I’ve been seriously drinking wine for 5 years now, and only now just scratching the surface. I seriously think a bit of educational assistance out there would do a lot to help the wine industry…

  5. Love chardonnay – oaked, unoaked,
    new world or old,
    a proper well made chardonnay is a wine treat to behold.

    (I used to be a poet but I didn’t know it………..etc. etc. blah di blah di blah)

  6. I cannot understand how all those ABC’s do not know that the excellent whites of burgundy are chardonnay! More wine education and less snootyness required!

  7. We drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc now, mainly because New World Chardonnays seem to be so heavily oaked – a flavour that my wife in particular, finds ‘horrible’. We also stay clear of French Burgundys, because they are inconsistent. On a recent visit to France one of the worst bottles of wine we had was in a restaurant in the village of Chablis – and it was damned expensive too! This was a disappointment, because a good Chablis is a very good wine, but then, no two years are the same in French wine production.
    We tend to stick to New Zealand, Chile and Californian wines now – no surprises!

  8. Chardonnay is now demonised thanks to heavy-handed overoaking, not Bridget Jones. It’s such a shame as few alternative single varietal whites come close to its potential for complexity and interest.
    I suggest ABO as the new acronym bandwagon in wine appreciation: winemakers please take note. How about revisiting the art of blending? I can’t be the only one who feels poisoned by oak yet bored to death by single varietals…
    http://gastroplod.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/chardonnay-chips/

  9. In the UK, is very poor the wine production because of the latitude, weather and climate but you can count on an unparallel education about this fantastic world. However practice is the one, after proficuos studies that help you to develop and understand which wine is which.Wine tasting are excellent fields, where you can develop those skills and passion of course, is the one who motivate you to be continuosly curious about this drinkable world.It sound controvertial but wines also are affected by the fashion market. Now oaked wines (chardonnay in particular) are a bit out because of that “american over oaked” but please try a Piedmontese chardonnay or a mineal rich Chablis and …. let me know! No one chardonnay is like other, they’re ALL unique, like us
    Enjoy wine tasting and drink responsibly
    CIAO!!!
    GL

  10. Pingback: Crackin’ Chardonnay’s: Alamos Chardonnay 2007 Catena, Mendoza Vs Macon-Milly Lamartine 2007 Bourgogne, France : I Love Shoes & Wine

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