July wine offer and competition – Chardonnay

White grapes and peopleAs temperatures in the Emirates rise we’re more likely to reach for a bottle of refreshingly, chilled white to go with lighter foods and to beat the heat.  The Chardonnay grape can produce very varying styles and our wine team have chosen three excellent wines for you to contrast and compare this month; and don’t forget to comment – you could win next month’s choices.  Need some inspiration for winning comments? – click here.

All three wines this month are from the New World but forget the heavy oaked styles of the last decade, these are well-balanced with different nuances provided by the winemaker and vineyard.  Don’t over-chill Chardonnay, serve at 10-12 C so you can appreciate the aromas and flavours fully. Download the tasting notes here or collect them in-store.

July Grapevine offer wines

Jinda-lee Chardonnay

Jinda-lee is one of MMI’s most popular ranges of good value wines and is from a family-run company owned by three generations of the Littore family, made and bottled on the estate.

Their very first vineyard in South Eastern Australia was called ‘bare hill’ or Jinda~Lee by the Aborginals and the wine labels all bear images of the wildlife that live in the river and bush around the vineyards.

There are aromas of peach, stone-fruit and melon, as you might expect but these are complemented by delicate citrus flavours and smoky oak characters. It’s really lively on the palate, medium weight and shows a crisp, citrus forward, fruit style.

The addition of malo-lactic fermentation and lees stirring to the winemaking techniques has added complexity and texture.  This slight butteryness married with the citric notes means it would be excellent with a chicken Caesar salad.

AED 29 – save 10% off this price

Vergelegen Chardonnay

Paul Hopkins and Tony Dodds are still effusive about this winemaker since their recent visit to Vergelegen where Paul described this Chardonnay as “complex with great oak and freshness”.  Pale green-gold in colour with intensely focused flavours showing citrus, spice, biscuits, toast and ripe fruits, the taste is long and elegant with excellent fruit/wood integration.

If you are roasting a chicken this weekend, make sure you serve a bottle of this but it would be equally good with a mid-week pasta dish with a creamy sauce like Spaghetti Carbonara.

AED 62 – save 20% off this price

Felton Road Elms Chardonnay

The three Felton Road vineyards in stunning locations in Central Otago, New Zealand are managed organically and biodynamically.  The winemaking is a gentle process including using gravity instead of pumps and spontaneous fermentation from the wild or indigenous yeasts that are in their vineyards and winery.  This care and attention to detail produces a Chardonnay that has fresh flowers, apple and a hint of pineapple on the nose. The palate is full and rounded, uncomplicated by oak, crisp and refreshing with a very clean, pure finish. This wine is very often compared to Chablis. Victoria Moore, wine writer for The Telegraph, recently called New Zealand Chardonnay ‘an un-sung Kiwi fruit‘ and praised this wine as “an impressive Chardonnay, beautifully tense and stimulating.”

Good food partners are many; proprietor Nigel Greening states “It does make you long for crayfish,” but it would go equally well with a chicken or veal.

AED 125 – save 20% off this price

Win August’s Grapevine offer wines

Because we’d really like to hear from you, we’ll choose one comment on this page to win next month’s Grapevine offer wines.  You have the whole of July to taste one or all of these Chardonays and share your opinion (honesty encouraged but please see guidelines below*). Our wine team will be popping along to join the debate too.

* Strong and lively opinions actively encouraged, but comments with unacceptable or abusive language will be removed by our moderator.

**Anyone can comment but if you are selected as the winner you must hold a valid Dubai liquor license in order to qualify for the mixed case.  If you do not hold a Dubai liquor license another winner will be chosen (no cash alternatives).

***July offers are in store and available to Grapevine members from 1st to 31st July 2011. This offer is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discounts.

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