What a decade the 90s was! A quick poll in the office had my colleagues recalling happy pants, grunge, MC Hammer, 90210, mobile phones, the twilight of the Hawke/Keating era, Monica Lewinsky and of course... Chardonnay. It’s important to note that Chardonnay was here well before the 90s but this was the decade it was introduced to us, the masses, in two very distinct phases – wooded and unwooded. The wooded era came to us in the early 90s when many of the larger companies were serving up Chardonnay so cloaked in oak flavour and so oily in texture that the variety itself was lost in the noise. I kept hearing descriptors like ‘coconut and vanilla’ to describe the nose and ‘sweet’ to describe the taste. This was a time where we got to learn more about the application of oak in all its forms (chips and barrels) and residual sugar added in spoonfuls. Inevitably the overcorrection came where suddenly producers were scrambling to unleash their unwooded
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