White Burgundy has long been seen as the benchmark for world- class Chardonnay, but prices can be staggering.
Why is white Burgundy so expensive?
Burgundy has had several short vintages in a row, so supplies have been under pressure for a few consecutive years. With increasingly tight supplies – coupled with a jump up in demand – it’s not surprising prices have continued to rise. But fear not! Our buyers scoured the globe looking for fantastic alternatives to this cult wine that will still impress – but at a fraction of the price.
Here are some fantastic alternatives to Burgundian Chardonnay that are still food-friendly and expressive – but won’t break the bank!
Cool and classy
Waimea Estates is small winery started by husband-and-wife team, Trevor and Robyn Bolitho, in the early 1990s. Their philosophy emphasises an intimate, hands-on approach critical to making exceptional wine. They believe that in order to make fantastic wine, you need to start with fantastic quality grapes. They also wanted to be distinct, and so experimented with unusual grape varieties like Riesling and Pinot Gris, and with richer styles like this ‘wild ferment’ Chardonnay – neither typical, nor what you might expect to find in New Zealand. The wines are so popular most of them don’t make it out of New Zealand – so be warned, when it’s gone it’s gone.
Our recommendation: Elara Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2016, Nelson, 13% £11.99
A wild card
A bone-dry and steely Chardonnay that hasn’t spent any time in oak – this wine screams Chablis, but hails from Hungary. Yes – Hungary! From a region known for its quality winemaking, pound for pound you’d be hard pressed to find a Chardonnay of this quality in France at this price.
Our recommendation: Le Mont Sas Chardonnay 2016, Hungary, 13% £9.99
Spain’s take on a white Burgundy
Burgundy Godello, once nearly extinct, is having a renaissance, and has been described as Spain’s version of Chardonnay. Primarily, it’s because Godello too is a winemaker’s blank canvas – its expressiveness is a result of the winemaker’s hand. It can be steely if fermented in stainless steel, or rich and round if it spends some time in oak. This pliability allows the most talented winemakers to coax it into something amazing – just like this beauty. Made from the oldest Godello clone in the world – it’s fresh, youthful acidity and herbaceousness make it a surefire favourite.
Our recommendation: Montenovo Godello 2016, Galicia, 13% £10.99