DWWA 2013 International Trophies: Chardonnay Over £15

This year's winner of the Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Chardonnay Over £15 went to Josef Chromy, Chardonnay, Tasmania 2011, Australia.

DWWA 2013 International Trophies, Josef Chromy Chardonnay Tasmania Australia 2011

Josef Chromy, Chardonnay, Tasmania, Australia 2011 (13.5%)
Wow! Exotic bouquet with lovely matchstick and mineral notes, great nutty complexity and ripe apple following to a stylish, elegant and tightly structured palate. Toasty undertones, juicy lees, intense fruit. UK £21.95; AWO, Bib, Ivy

Tasted against • Gusbourne Estate, Guinevere, Kent, England 2011 • Philippe Colin, Les Chaumées, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru, Burgundy, France 2011 • Oak Valley, Chardonnay, Elgin, Overberg, South Africa 2011 • Matua, Single Vineyard Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand 2011

With many of Australia’s top producers increasingly sourcing their Chardonnay from Tasmania, this region has been turning heads. This accolade is yet another feather in the region’s cap and justifies the buzz, as Joseph Chromy fought off competition from a fantastically diverse range of competitors, including a lovely English offering and a stylish Chassagne- Montrachet 1er Cru.

Josef Chromy is a pivotal figure in the development of the Tasmanian wine industry. During the island state’s fledgling years he developed Rochecombe (now Bay of Fires), Jansz and Heemskerk and established, from a greenfield site, Tamar Ridge (Brown Brothers), now Tasmania’s largest producer. After selling Tamar Ridge to Gunns in 2003 at the age of 74, he approached Jeremy Dineen to make some wine under contract in 2004 from his newly acquired vineyard.

Chromy subsequently invited Dineen to join him in establishing a multi-million dollar, hi-tech winery with 61ha outside Launceston in Tasmania’s temperate, maritime Tamar Valley. Josef Chromy Wines is the culmination of his vision, and has more in common with Dijon and Reims than any Australian wine region.

This 2011 Chardonnay is a style Dineen has crafted to create leesy, mealy, struckmatch and flinty aromas to a wine of Burgundian-style structure and finesse. As for Chromy, who escaped Czechoslovakia in 1950, one of the proudest memories of this great, pioneering octogenarian was lunching with HM Queen Elizabeth II on one of her visits to Tasmania.

Anthony Rose

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