Wine Note

2019 Finest Valle de Leyda Chardonnay (Tesco £8.50)

Wine Note Chardonnay Chile

In 1974 I remember buying a bottle of the world’s greatest Chardonnay, Montrachet, for £5 (reduced from £8 thanks to the oil crisis). Adjusted for inflation over 50 years, that’s £65 reduced from £104.

So, it was a seriously expensive bottle, but just about affordable for a special occasion.

This morning I received an email with an offer of 2022 Montrachet at £850 a bottle – excluding duty and VAT. So now it’s become an outrageously expensive bottle, destined only for the tables of oligarchs and tech billionaires.

Where are we Chardonnay lovers to look now that Burgundy, the home of Montrachet, is way beyond our budgets?

Chile is the answer. This bottle was available at Tesco just before Christmas at just £6.38 in a 25% off for six deal.

It has plenty of apple and melon fruit balanced by refreshing acidity and will go very well with roast chicken. It hasn’t got the length and intensity of good white Burgundy, of course, but it’s very good value for money.

And that Montrachet from half a century ago? It was drunk in 1975 and is still one of the best wines I’ve ever had. But I won’t be taking up the offer.

Happy New Year.

John Freeland (u3a Wine Tasting Group)

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