Welcome to Crushed & Cured, your haven for exquisite wines in the heart of Southsea. In this blog, we embark on a captivating wine tasting adventure, exploring the rich nuances of Chardonnay. Join us as we delve into the delightful flavours of Finca Flichman Tanguero Chardonnay, Chateau Los Boldos Reserve Chardonnay, Bride Valley Dorset Chardonnay, Montsable Reserve Chardonnay, Wickhams Road Chardonnay, and Maison Chanzy Mercurey.
Chardonnay, a noble grape variety with global prominence, captivates wine enthusiasts with its diverse character and versatility. It thrives in various regions worldwide, showcasing the unique influence of climate, soil, and winemaking techniques. At Crushed & Cured, we have carefully curated a selection of remarkable Chardonnay wines, each with its own story to tell.
A versatile grape that buds and ripens early, perfect for growing in cool, moderate and warm climates that develops a range of flavours and aromas, in cool climates the vines produce fruit with citrus, apple and pear notes, moderate climates the grapes bring more stone fruit characteristics, peach, apricot and melon. Warm climate Chardonnays have flavours and aromas of tropical fruits; pineapple and banana but with less acidity.
Chardonnay can be used to produce still and sparkling wines and can be oaked or unoaked, leaving the winemaker with an array of options when vinifying the majestic Chardonnay grape.
Our wine tasting showcased six different styles of Chardonnay from five different countries and a wide range of climates and winemaking techniques. The perfect evening for all Chardonnay lovers out there…
Our wine tasting journey begins with Finca Flichman Tanguero Chardonnay, hailing from the esteemed vineyards of the Maipu Valley, grown in the Barrancas region of Maipu, Argentina. Founded in 1901 by Don Sami Flichman, Finca Flichman has become one of Argentina’s most prestigious winemakers. The grapes are grown at 700m above sea level, the high diurnal range extends the growing season with lovely warm days and cool nights to slow ripening. Handpicked, in the winery the grapes are pressed and fermented in stainless steel ferments at 16 degrees for 20 days to protect the varietal characteristics of the Chardonnay. Aged in bottle for three months prior to release. Pale yellow in colour this Chardonnay exhibits a harmonious blend of crisp zesty lemons, ripe pears, and pineapple. A touch of peach on the plate to accompany the aromas that carry through. A soft, refreshingly crisp dry Chardonnay was the perfect place to kick off our wine tasting.
Next on our wine tasting adventure was the Chateau Los Boldos Reserve Chardonnay, originating from the Cachapoal Valley in Chile. 100 kilometres south of Santiago in the foothills of the Andes lies this winery that was founded in 1948, 170 hectares of vineyards growing Chardonnay, Carmenere, Syrah, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc among others. With a temperate Mediterranean climate, vineyard temperatures are moderated by altitude and the Cachapoal river that meanders through the valley.
The harvested grapes are crushed and given a short skin maceration to extract colour and some flavour before fermenting for three weeks at between 14 and 16 degrees. Post fermentation thirty percent of the wine is allowed to go through malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity and give the wine a more rounded feel. Three months ageing in tank on the fine lees to give the wine some body and texture before bottling.
A beautiful bright yellow in the glass. The nose is packed with tropical fruits, apricots and pears which carry over to the palate. Fresh zesty acidity with a touch more body that the Tanguero and persistent fruit on the finish.
Venturing closer to home, our wine tasting took us to Dorset and the Bride Valley Dorset Chardonnay. Founded by the late Steven Spurrier and his wife Arabella. Bride Valley produces some of England’s finest wines. With soils and climate very similar to those of Champagne, it provides the perfect terroir for growing Chardonnay. Sustainably framed and using organic practices across their ten hectares of vines. The grapes are hand harvest over three weeks to ensure optimal ripeness, the grapes are gently pressed in a pneumatic press before fermenting in stainless steel. The wine is aged for 4 months on its lees before stabilising and bottling.
This wine from the charming vineyards of Dorset is pale lemon in colour with the faintest flick of green, a complex floral nose with some green apple and a kiss of summer fruits. The palate is broad with wonderful natural acidity. This delightful English wine exhibits lively fruit flavors, with hints of green apple and lemon zest. Its vibrant acidity and delicate bubbles make it an excellent choice for celebratory occasions and a perfect complement to seafood canapés. The first English wine to feature at one of our wine tastings and a perfect wine to feature.
Our journey continues with the Montsable Reserve Chardonnay, originating from the renowned vineyards of the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France. An authentic small batch wine from the Valle de L’Aude, one of the cooler areas of the Languedoc, perfect for slow ripening Chardonnay. Vineyards are cooled by the Vent Cers that blow in off the Atlantic down through the Pyranees. Harvested early in the morning to reduce oxidation and ensure the fruit arrives at the winery in perfect condition. Gentle pressing and separation of the free run juice and pressings into separate tanks for fermentation at 17 to 18 degrees. The wine is then lees aged and goes through malolactic conversion to give body and a wonderful creaminess. With thirty percent of the spending 6 months in old French oak barrels to give a gentle seasoning of vanilla, toast and oak.
This Chardonnay showcases a perfect balance between ripe orchard fruits and a touch of toasted oak, with some floral aromas and mineral notes this really is a great wine. Perfect if you are looking for a classical white Burgundy without the price tag!
Next, on our wine tasting we venture to the Yarra Valley in Australia, home to the exceptional Wickhams Road Chardonnay. North East of Melbourne, Hoddles Creak Estate was founded in 1997 by the D’Anna family. The steep sloping vineyards mean everything is done by hand with a sustainable approach, sheep are run through the vineyards during the winter to reduce the need for chemical treatments on the weeds and grasses. Fruit sourced from the Upper Yarra around Macclesfield is destemmed, lightly crushed and pressed before fermenting or two weeks in stainless steel. Twelve months on old oak barrels gives the wine the most delicate kiss of oak. This wine captivates with its intense aromas of white flowers with the merest herbaceous accent, lime and grapefruit, blood orange, tempered by fresh cream. Very pure and lively, low-oak example, which would suit Chablis lovers.
Our wine tasting journey reaches its pinnacle with Maison Chanzy, Mercurey, Clos Les Bussieres-Monopole. A Burgundy Chardonnay from the renowned region of Mercurey on the Cote Chalonnaise, just south of Rully. A highly respected Burgundy producers that takes a hands-off approach to wine making allowing the wines to evoque the terroir. With a focus on sustainability they are one of few Burgundy producers to have been awarded Haute Valeur Environnementale; Level 3 by the French Government.
Harvested grapes are gently pressed before the juice is transferred into 228 litre old French oak barrels for fermentation and maturation for a total of fourteen months followed by one month tank ageing. A fine nose of energetic and ripe citrus with almost a ginger-spice component. Round, easy in the mouth but again there is that ginger spice. Not your typical white Mercury but beautiful none the less. A fabolous way to finish our Chardonnay wine tasting!
As we conclude our exploration of Chardonnay, we invite you to visit Crushed & Cured, where you can savour the delightful wines we've introduced. Whether you prefer the tropical allure of Finca Flichman Tanguero, the English charm of Bride Valley Dorset, or the elegance of Maison Chanzy Mercurey, our collection offers something to suit every palate. Embark on your own wine tasting adventure and experience the captivating world of wines at Crushed & Cured, your gateway to exceptional wines in Southsea, Portsmouth.
Crushed & Cured hold monthly wine tasting events showcasing a different producing country or grape variety. Each wine tasting features six different wines, we talk you through the producing country or area, detail on where the grapes are grown and how each wine is made. Working with an array of different producers large and small there is always something fascinating behind the team that make our wines. Helping you identify the armoas and flavours of each wine before being able to enjoy it is great company. We serve cheese and charcutiere so you can sample some of the amazing British produced artisan foods we have on offer.
We also offer private wine tasting, fully tailored to you. Choose from three to six wines from our fabulous selection and bring a group of friends or family along for a wonderful evening of wine and food. We hope to see you soon, Cheers!