Monday, November 19, 2007

Is There Still Gold in Australia?

That’s what the wine makers at Aussie Vineyards would have you believe with their line of Au wines. The attractive bottles have been catching my eye as I shop at a Sacramento area grocery store chain, Raley’s, which has an exclusive arrangement to carry the wines.

I wanted a Chardonnay to go with the roasted chicken and garlic potatoes my family was having for dinner last night. After picking selecting a bird and a tub of ready to heat mashed potatoes, I decided to try the Au. From the description on the bottle the wine seemed to be the way I like Chardonnays, with oak. At $10 I didn’t have too much to lose.

Aussie Vineyards is located in Queensland, South Australia, in the newly coined Limestone Coast. The grapes for my particular wine came from the Henty Estate vineyard in the Granite Belt region, one of the better known wine regions in Queensland. As its name implies, the soils in this area are granite laden. Its elevation makes it the coolest part of Queensland and there is relatively low rainfall. Grapevines tend to do well here and it seems an ideal place for Chardonnay.
Tasting Notes:

Light golden yellow

Oak was the predominate smell. I couldn’t detect any citrus, but just the almost vanilla aroma of a Chardonnay.

Oak again was the main flavor I could detect. There was also a lot of heat from the alcohol, even though it was only 13.8%. The bottle described this wine as buttery, but I didn’t detect it, though it did have a slightly thicker mouth feel.

The finish was awkward, a combination of the heat from the alcohol and residue of oak.

This was an unimpressive Chardonnay. However, I did enjoy it more than an unoaked version that tastes more like a Sauvignon Blanc. It went well with the roasted chicken and garlic potatoes.

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