Aus Vs. NZ Chardonnay – And the winner is…

Steves Nedlands Chardonnay Masterclass - Blind tasting
Forget what you’ve heard. Chardonnay is not just what your Mother drinks. Chardy is the bloody bees knees of the wine world. It’s such a versatile grape that can be grown in warm and cold climates. It can be made into sparkling wines. It can be made both dry and sweet. And it can be fruity, or buttery, or fruity and buttery depending on the style the winemaker is seeking. It’s my absolute favourite grape variety and I really think you should all give it a chance to shine on your palate.
Steves Nedlands Chardonnay Masterclass - Aus Vs NZ
New Zealand and Australia both make fabulous Chardonnays so when I heard about Steve’s in Nedlands Aus Vs NZ Chardonnay Taste The Cellar Masterclass I knew it was made for me! The lovely team behind the social media for Steve’s kindly invited Mr. Spittoon and I along and lets just say that we left with even more of an appreciation for Chardy and well, we need to do some study. Darn it – stock the fridge Mr. S!

The Set-Up

This is the first masterclass of 6 which are taking place over the next 6 months. Each month up until October 2015 there is a different theme – the next is an East vs West Cabernet tasting.

The sessions are held on Wednesday nights starting at 7pm and go through till about 8:30pm.

Tickets are $79 per person and include:

  • Generous tastings of at least 5 premium wines
  • Delicious and plentiful charcuterie tasting board nibbles (I had to ask for details on the ‘Bosquito’ wild mushroom & wine soaked salami – heavenly!)
  • Expert hosting by Michael Hartely, wine consultant, and sommelier of Steve’s Wine Store Jesse
  • Water, pens and papers to write your tasting notes
  • Special wine discounts on the night

Steves Nedlands Chardonnay Masterclass - Chefs Chartueurie Boards Steves Nedlands Chardonnay Masterclass - Breads Steves Nedlands Chardonnay Masterclass - Snacks
The tastings are held down the end of the wine store in a closed off room, so there’s no trouble to hear and it has an intimate feel. At our tasting there was maybe 15 people which was just perfect as we could all interact with the hosts one on one and as we were standing, it made for easy mingling.

The wines were all tasted blind, even the hosts, Michael & Jesse weren’t 100% sure of the order on the night.
Steves Nedlands Chardonnay Masterclass - Michael Hartely
But what I really value when it comes to wine tastings in fancy pant areas like Nedlands is my beer-drinking partner in crime’s thoughts…

Mr. Spittoon’s feedback:

There’s a reason I always ask to bring a +1 to events. Mr. Spittoon is totally unbiased, he knows exactly what he likes (is never swayed by other opinions) and to be honest with you he is much more a beer drinker than a wine drinker. I highly value his opinion and he always brings honesty and realism to the sometimes very snotty wine world. So here are his unedited thoughts on this wine education class at Steve’s:

  • I liked the open friendliness
  • There was no wine wankiness
  • The host had good practical information
  • It would have been better if all the wines were roughly at the same price points as they differed between $35-$75

And the winner is..

I wouldn’t say there was a clear-cut winner, everyone seemed to really indulge in their own personal taste which was brilliant! There were some stunning Kiwi Chardy’s, some fantastic Aussies and some not so popular tipples. My favourite ended up being a Kiwi Chard and Mr.Spittoon’s an Aussie so looks like we like a bit of both in the TC household!
Steves Nedlands Chardonnay Masterclass

The wines & my tasting notes

Here is what we tried and my thoughts when trying them blind (I’m literally just popping the words I wrote down on the night instead of putting them into a structured note):

Mac Forbes ‘Hoddles Creek’ 2012 Chardonnay ($60)
Hokey pokey ice-cream, honeysuckle, smells lushly sweet yet is super acidic on the palate.

Victory Point 2011 Chardonnay ($50)
Minerals, clean, vibrant, orchard fruits, crisp, lean, citrus – grapefruit particularly.

Tolpuddle 2013 Chardonnay ($75)
So unique and different from all the others, very light in colour, green apple nose, crisp citrus, fresh, clean, fruity, orchard fruit adventure, candied lemon, palate cleanser.

McHenry Hohnen Calgardup Brook 2012 Chardonnay ($40)
Morning sunshine – slight golden shine, vanilla cake, citrus, medium body, grapefruit, pineapple, fresh, refreshing.

Seresin Reserve 2012 Chardonnay ($55)
Big round oaky nose, tropical fruits, delicious mouthfeel, full-bodied.

Villa Maria ‘Taylor’s Pass’ 2010 ($55)
Oaky, buttery, vanilla, tropical fruits, creamy, fruity, complex, intense and warming.

Craggy Range ‘Kidnappers Vineyard’ 2012 ($35)
Warm, tropical, melon, vanilla, bready, butterscotch, toasty, long zingy finish.

Steve's Fine Wine and Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato It was a fabulous evening which ended with $20 fish’n’chips & a glass of Sauv Blanc in the restaurant. For more information please see the below flyer and make sure you check out the Steve’s Nedlands website and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Steves Nedlands - Taste the Cellar Masterclasses 2015

Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...

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