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Rawson's Retreat displays the expected Australian chardonnay characteristics of rockmelon and peach flavours, balanced with some pithy grapefruit notes, balancing the final wine perfectly. This wine has an uncommon level of complexity for an offering at this price point and is ideally matched to poultry dishes or seafood with a buttery sauce.
The main styles are unoaked Chardonnays in the cool West and oaked Chardonnays in South and East.
The unoaked Chardonnays are clean and crisp with tart citrus and apple flavors similar to Chablis. The oaked versions have riper and more tropical fruit and vanilla flavors similar to California Chardonnays.
Bouncing back from late 20th century overproduction, Australian Chardonnay is as varied as the country itself.
Cooler regions in Australia are making clean, Chablis-like Chardonnay while the warmer parts of the country are making oaky, buttery Chardonnay similar to the Napa Valley.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Chardonnay was the wine that brought Australia into international focus. These wines were approachable and affordable, and the world bought them en masse. As with most trends, the popularity of these Chardonnays caused production to skyrocket and quality to fall. These days, the quality is coming back and some good values are available again.
For oaked Chardonnays look for the regions Upper Hunter Valley and McLaren Vale, and for the un-oaked Chardonnays seek out wines from Margaret River.
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