Posted on 18.09.20 Wine of the Week

#WOTW: Chardonnay the way it should be from the Eden Valley

The more I taste wines from South Australia’s Eden Valley, the more I fall for its cool climate charm. Most famous for its Riesling, the region is rapidly earning a stellar reputation for Chardonnay and this week’s wine is a lovely example.

Despite its name, the Eden Valley is actually a series of hills, so the elevation gives it the diurnal range in temperatures (hot, sunny days and cool nights) that deliver ripeness while preserving acidity. The result is wines that are rich, yet juicy and fresh.

Hill-Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay 2018 (£11.99 at Waitrose) comes from one of the most famous family names in Australian wine. It’s made with a ‘wild ferment’ – meaning it’s a natural process using the yeasts that exist in the winery, rather than being inoculated with an off-the-shelf product – which adds a frisson of wildness to the fruit. Fresh and fragrant, with aromas of ripe peach, citrus zest and honeysuckle, there’s nutty complexity from subtle, well-integrated French oak.

This wine would be the perfect partner for roast chicken or poached salmon and it could also match well with Asian flavours, like satay or crispy aromatic duck.

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