Chardonnay can be a tricky category to judge in a panel because there are so many different styles. There are fans of lean and flinty Chablis-style chardonnay showing lemon and minerality, and lovers of the ripe, oaky California style with lots of pineapple and peach flavours. But both in the preliminary and final rounds, this lovely 2016 chard from Montalto shone the brightest. From Australia’s cool and windy Mornington Peninsula, a little south of Melbourne, the Pennon Hill Chardonnay hits that sweet spot, with flavours of lemon, lime, pear and mandarin orange, zippy acid and a slightly creamy mouthfeel from lees contact. Darren Oleksyn


Montalto 2016 Pennon Hill Chardonnay
Mornington Peninsula, Australia
$25-26 CSPC 798769







Ménage à Trois Gold 2015 Chardonnay
California, United States
$16-18 CSPC 787927







Marques de Casa Concha 2016 Chardonnay
Limarí Valley, Chile
$22-24 CSPC 342857






La Crema 2016 Monterey Chardonnay
Monterey, California
$28-30 CSPC 737430






Plantagenet 2017 Three Lions Chardonnay
Great Southern, Australia
$22-25 CSPC 792101

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