Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Return to Margaret River

75. 2004 Evans & Tate Margaret River Chardonnay (Margaret River - Australia)

The last Chardonnay that I tried from Margaret River was the Cape Leeuwin Artist Series at the AWAS Great Chardonnay Taste Off. It was my favourite of the night - which was an interesting surprise because the tasting was blind but I've previously mentioned that I'm enthralled with the Margaret River region - south of Perth.

Unfortunately, this wine didn't wow the taste buds like its neighbouring winery did. But then again, you can actually afford this wine AND find it in Vancouver.

E&T is one of the best known producers from the Margaret River district, particularly for its reserve wines. But, part of that recognition stemmed from the fact that the winery experienced a large expansion during the 90's and this last decade - to the point where it had become one of the largest producers in Margaret River and had even continued on into additional states.

It ran into difficulties in 2005 when the "wine lake" that was Australia caught E&T spread too thin. The winery was ultimately bought by another well known producer in Oz, McWilliams. However, one of Australia's pre-eminent wine personalities, James Halliday, has praised the winery for maintaining its quality throughout the turmoil.

This was not my favourite E&T wine but won't give up on the winery. I know that there are other wines that will be viewed more favourably when they hit The List. I think I might just hold out for the Leeuwin Estate when it comes to Chardonnay.

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