Chardonnay

Chardonnay, the king of white grapes, is a blank canvas that adapts to soils and climate. With good potential body and acidity its ultimate expression is grown in Burgundy’s Le Montrachet vineyard by domaines such as Comtes Lafon and Ramonet which, according to Alexandre Dumas, should be “drunk on bended knee, with head bared”. Spreading out from this holy epicentre, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, St Aubin, Meursault, Corton-Charlemagne, Chablis, Champagne, the Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais and Jura also foster interstellar examples. Much abused in the ’80s, when Australia flooded the UK with oceans of sickly Chardonnay, the grape still makes a multitude of anonymous wines outside of central France (Spanish Chardonnay – why?). In California producers such as Kongsgaard and Sandhi and, in New Zealand, Kumeu River make delicious examples.