I usually choose the wine for dinner. On occasion I even make suggestions to the chef about what food will pair with the wine I would like to drink that evening. However, this wine was selected by my wife from the 'approved wine' section of the cellar - specially marked wines to make sure that first growth doesn't end up in a steak marinade. So tonight's wine, D'Arenberg's 2004 "The Olive Grove" Chardonnay, was her choice to match a mediterranean style shrimp dish (tomatoes, feta).
This wine found its way into my cellar because of D'Arenberg's reliability - I have never had a bad D'Arenberg wine, so why not the chardonnay? This wine surprised me at first, as it was quite different from other Aussie chardonnays - slightly lighter in colour, more subtle. On the nose it was also delicate, with citrus scents and hints of apricot, wild clover, hay, oak, and a strong aroma of buttered toast. Very nice, not overpowering, dare I say very French?
On the palate it did not have the buttery taste of so many new world chardonnays. Light bodied with a soft texture and mild acidity, I described it as refreshing and minerally, Chablis-like, but a little softer on the palate on account of the alcohol. Overall, a nice wine that went well with this seafood and tomato dish.