i4C cool climate Chardonnay conference, some highlights

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If you are going to have a conference on a single white grape variety, from a drinking point of view, Chardonnay is probably the best choice. Over the weekend at the i4C we tasted and drank a lot of Chardonnay. These are some of the highlights.

Tara Atacama White Wine 1 2014 Atacama Valley, Chile
Wild yeast, unfiltered, 13% alcohol. Complex and spicy with a slightly mealy edge to the rich pear, grapefruit and lemon notes. Manages to be fresh and rich at the same time with tingling, mineral acidity and lovely weight in the mouth. Complex, vital and appealing. Serious effort. 94/100

Bachelder Wismer Foxcroft Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara, Canada
Great concentration and freshness here with textured, lively citrus fruit and a nervy, mineralic, acid core. Juicy and supple with lots of complexity and subtle apple and pear richness. 94/100

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Westcott Vineyards Lenko Old Vine Chardonnay 2014 Beamsville Bench, Niagara
12.8% alcohol. There’s lovely freshness and detail here with juicy grapefruit, lemon and pear notes. Finely spiced and with a linear, mineral core, this has complexity and poise. Fresh and complex with lovely balance and intensity. 94/100

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Thirty Bench Small Lot Chardonnay 2015 Beamsville Bench, Niagara, Canada
13.6% alcohol. This has lovely freshness with some pear, grapefruit and citrus pith. Has some melony mid-palate richness. Lovely balance here. 91/100

Domaine de Montperthuis Chablis Vieilles Vignes Les Malantes 2014 Burgundy, France
Taut and dense with a lovely pithy, mineral core to the citrus and pear fruit. Juicy and focused with nice intensity. There’s a density to this compact, linear wine that’s really appealing. 93/100

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Scribe Skin Fermented Chardonnay 2015 Carneros, California
Concentrated and ripe but with nice structure. Orange peel, marmalade and citrus here with a lovely herbal twist. Distinctive and bold with nice focus and acid, and a bit of tannic grip here, too. 93/100

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Pearl Morissette Chardonnay Cuvee Dix Neuvieme 2014 Niagara, Canada
Delicate nose with some lovely apple, pear and nut characters, as well as some herbs and citrus peel. The palate is very appealing with an open, slightly oxidative character. Lovely texture with nice citrus drive under the ripe appley fruit. Very appealing and textural. 94/100

Norman Hardie Chardonnay 2014 Prince Edward County, Canada
Bright and focused with sweet citrus fruit at its core. Very linear and intense with a pithy edge to the tight fruit. Currently really dense and compact, but everything is there for this to be fabulous. Lovely herb-tinged, pithy citrus notes. Great acidity and structure: needs time. 94/100

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