BB Review: Magpie Estate The Next Big Thing Chardonnay 2015
After last week's English Chardonnay, it's safe to say that none of the BBs are card-carrying members of the ABC Mob anymore (way to go, Kate & Caro!) and all three of us are exploring the world of Chardonnay with open arms and open mouths. Do we continue to like what we taste? Let's find out.
BOTTLE: Magpie Estate ‘The Next Big Thing’ Chardonnay 2015 – Barossa, Australia
WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £11.00 from Thind Wine Merchants in Sevenoaks
ABV & TECH SPECS: 100% Chardonnay and 12.5% ABV
MORE ABOUT CHARDONNAY: Forget those over-oaked, like-licking-a-wardrobe Chardonnays of yore, the spotlight is now on Australia for premium quality and great value Chardonnays. Australia is home to a fascinating amount of different styles from new and emerging regions and producers, and of all the wine valleys in South Australia, the Barossa is arguably one of the most famous. It's also the birthplace of the Australian wine industry! Thanks to its diverse soils and Mediterranean climate, this region produces a vast array of interesting Chardonnays.
ABOUT THE VINEYARD: Magpie Estate in the Barossa was founded in 1993, between famous winemaker Rolf Binder and English wine merchant Noel Young. They specialise in small batches of hand-picked old vines, to ensure quality over quantity, and use minimal oak (this one has only 25% of the juice in barrel on the lees) for an ageing period of 6 months, before blending with the rest, to creates body and freshness. Magpie estate is named (funnily enough) after the birds that inhabit the farmland around the vineyards.
FUN BB FACT: Though she's not generally the superstitious type, Angela cannot walk past a lonely magpie until she salutes it and asks after the wife and kids.
CARO: I know one’s not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but guys, I’m only human: that label’s cool! Onto the liquid itself - it smells of boozy fermented apples, like calvados or flat cider, and feels slightly creamy AND fizzy, with a bit of a sharp sensation on the end. Mmmmh okay, my mouth is aaaaaall over the place! It’s all the same buttery and slightly bitter fruitiness on the tongue. It’s pleasant but with some added personality, refreshing but with added body and a good balance that, all in all, means I’d demolish the shit out of that bottle. On my own, in the sun. Bring it on.
ANGELA: I love my Chardonnay bathing in oak – a Chardonnay that smell like a winery when you sniff the glass. It reminds me of travels to South Australia and falling in love with Chardonnay all over again in the vineyards of the Mornington Peninsular. Honestly, I’m not getting that from this wine, but what I am getting is fresh peachy and vanilla notes with a refreshing, lightly acidic but creamy palate, with crisp pear notes and stone fruit. It’s light, zippy, and would be a great Chardonnay for a summer's afternoon with a group of friends, an array of delicious salads and BBQ chicken; and it wouldn’t break the bank to crack open another bottle.
KATE: This wine is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s. I mean it. It kinda tastes like bananas! And by that, I mean that it's hella ripe. Ripe like a nectarine that you eat directly over the sink with juice running down your chin. And like a nectarine, its ripe juiciness is a bit tingly on the tongue. You know, it's almost like a smoothie in its zippy fruitiness. Or a Creamsicle (did we have Creamsicles in England?), as it has a slight creaminess that tames its fruity acidity. Is this review making any sense? Like the label, I feel this wine has given me the gift of the gab, and though I like it well enough, I'm a-okay with just one glass of this Chardonnay before moving on to something a little more mellow.
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? Angela and Caro are going to pack it up a bit early today, and crack open a second bottle of this in the sun.