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Australian Chardonnay: An international success story

Australia scored record top medal counts at Decanter World Wine Awards 2023. Discover the outstanding Aussie Chardonnay wines from this year's list.

There’s something special about Chardonnay. Endlessly adaptable, it’s a resilient variety that has taken well to a wide diversity of soil types, locations and climates.

Its capacity spans far beyond terroir, too, making itself responsive to the crafts of its winemakers, who each play a part in the highs and lows of Chardonnay’s global standing.

If it ever finds itself out of favour, Chardonnay seems always to have the capacity for a comeback. From the ‘ABC’ (Anything But Chardonnay) days of the 1990s and early 2000s to today, it is nothing short of a success story, and the proof is exemplified by Chardonnay in Australia.

Scroll down to see the top Australian Chardonnay wines of DWWA 2023

A decade ago, not one Gold medal was awarded to an Australian Chardonnay at the Decanter World Wine Awards. This year there were 12, alongside eight 97-point Platinum and Best in Show wines.

‘Attention may sometimes wander to other varieties like Shiraz or Pinot when it comes to teasing out clear distinctions between Australia’s regional styles,’ said DWWA judges, ‘but in truth, no variety tells the regional story better than Chardonnay.’

In a vast wine producing nation, Chardonnay accounts for more than half of Australia’s white wine production, thriving in a range of climates from cool Yarra Valley and Tasmania to humid Hunter Valley and warm Barossa Valley.

Regional diversity matched with a new generation of winemakers, eager to apply expertise and experimentation to the forefront of Australia’s landscape of Chardonnay, will only see this ongoing success story continue.

Below, discover the producers to know and top Chardonnay wines to try from the recent 2023 competition, with many more to seek out at awards.decanter.com

DWWA 2023 Top Australian Chardonnays

House of Cards, Ace of Spades, Margaret River, Western Australia 2022

97 Best in Show
Pale colour, more silver and green than gold, with clean, understated aromas in which shy stone fruits are seen through a mist of milky softness. On the palate, the wine is clean and lithe, its fruits appearing slender at first yet gradually filling with time in the mouth, with appetising lemon and lime notes. Just four months’ oak provides the brushstrokes of richness needed to set off this delicate fruit at its best. Alcohol 13%

Penfolds, Reserve Bin A, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2021

97 Best in Show
POA Berry Bros & Rudd
This very pale, steel-green wine is fresher and more pungent than most, as if its grapefruit fruits had been pounded with leaf, cream and a little white pepper. On the palate, it is pure, driving and fresh: restrained Chardonnay flavours in a style which almost succeeds in recalling a muted, complex Sauvignon or Savagnin. The acidity is ripe, and the stealthy nine-months in oak bring extra class to this compelling bottle. Alc 12.5%

Western Australia

Robert Oatley, Pennant, Margaret River 2020

97 Platinum
£39-£41 Cellar Selected, Christopher Keiller, Decorum Vintners
Complex aromas of vanilla, nougat, mango and nuances of smoke, oyster shell and mineral touches. Rich palate, very intense and round, full, with a lovely long savoury finish. Alc 12.5%

Streicker, Ironstone Block Old Vine, Margaret River 2020

97 Platinum
Ripe and fragrant, rich and fresh with plenty of savoury character. A very refined, compact style with a pleasant fruit profile on the palate. Toasted nutty oak prevails with attractive lemon aftertaste. Alc 13.5%

Fraser Gallop, Parterre, Margaret River 2021

96 Gold
£29.50 Corney & Barrow
Punchy nose with butterscotch and buttercups, honeyed nuances and hints of mango and ripe limes. Silky luxurious mouthfeel with a mellow texture. Pithy finish. Alc 12.5%

Flametree, SRS Wallcliffe, Margaret River 2022

95 Gold
£42.50 Le Vignoble, Loki Wines, Planet of the Grapes, The Dorset Wine Co, The Solent Cellar, Vindependents, WoodWinters
Mineral nose with notes of cashew and lovely smoky oak undertones. Showing a lot of drive and intensity on the palate. Long, savoury finish. Alc 13%

Stella Bella, Suckfizzle, Margaret River 2021

95 Gold
POA Alliance Wine
Lifted aromas of roasted nuts, bran meal, aromatic lemons and green fruits. Zesty on the palate, with well-judged oak use and a creamy texture. Alc 13.1%

South Australia

Tapanappa, Tiers Vineyard, Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills 2022

96 Gold
POA Mentzendorff
Subtle bouquet of white peach and lemon zest with tones of savoury and herbaceous notes. Creamy on the palate, with very refreshing acidity. Alc 13.8%

The Lane, Beginning, Adelaide Hills 2022

95 Gold
Open nose displaying attractive aromas of ripe grapefruit, nuances of sweet oak spices and hints of smoke. Delicious, flavourful and deep, long-lasting. Alc 13.5%


Brokenwood, Indigo Vineyard, Beechworth 2021

97 Platinum
POA Bancroft
Stunning aromas of glossy lime blossom and grapefruit peel, quite elegant and subtle oak nuances. Textural on the palate, chalky and limey, showing real finesse. Classy and mouthwatering, very long finish. Alc 12.5%

Yarra Yering, Yarra Valley 2021

97 Platinum
Smart and subtle, displaying juicy aromas of lime, pineapple, nectarine and some mineral and salty nuances. Very textural with a silky mouthfeel. Focused and precise, ending in a persistent finish. Alc 13%

Rob Dolan, White Label, Yarra Valley 2021

95 Gold
POA The Great Wine Co
Lovely kiss of light toast oak on the nose with gentle notes of toffee, green tropical fruit and grapefruit pith. Glossy on the palate, mineral. Alc 13.2%


Dawson James, Derwent Valley 2020

97 Platinum
POA Liberty Wines
Attractive smoky nose with well-managed oak, explosive aromas of lime and lemon blossom, pastry and gunflint nuances. Delicate, very light and tasty, tangy acidity and seductive leesy texture. Alc 12.5%

Hardys, Eileen Hardy 2021

96 Gold
Subtle and complex aromas, notes of lemon cordial, lime marmalade, beeswax, smoky bacon and nutty nuances. Mouthwatering acidity. Impressive and powerful. Alc 13.5%

Search all DWWA 2023 award-winning wines

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