Are these the best Chardonnays in Australia?

The 2011 Seppelt Drumborg Chardonnay was today named the best chardonnay in Australia in the 2013 James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge.

Organised by Wine Yarra Valley to showcase Australian Chardonnay, the winning wine was selected from more than 530 entries (an increase in more than 100 over last year’s inaugural competition).

pouring chardonnay

Judging took place in Victoria’s Yarra Valley on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 September. Chairman of Judges Ben Edwards was joined by the experienced panel of: P.J. Charteris, Peter Dawson, Peter Dredge, David Brookes, Caroline Mooney, Cliff Royle, Marcus Satchell, Dan Sims and Corrina Wright.

Exhibits came from almost 300 wineries representing 53 of the country’s wine regions and were judged by three panels of three judges with two supporting associate judges and a panel chair, who blind tasted wines grouped by region or zone.

The winning Seppelt Drumborg Chardonnay is sourced exclusively from the Drumborg Vineyard situated in the cool Grampians country, the Henty hinterland. The vineyard was planted in 1964 to provide Seppelt with cool climate fruit for premium quality wines and remains one of the most southern vineyards in mainland Australia. With a mean January Temperature of 17.5 degrees, Henty is fast developing a reputation as one of Australia’s leading cool climate regions.

Below is the list of wines from each region where the highest score was 94 points or more.

Winery Name

Wine

Vintage

Score

Region

Seppelt Wines

Seppelt Drumborg Chardonnay

2011

98

Grampians, Victoria

Xanadu Wines

Xanadu Chardonnay

2010

97

Margaret River, WA

Ocean Eight

Ocean Eight Verve Chardonnay

2011

97

Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Derwent Estate Wines

Derwent Estate Block 1 Chardonnay

2011

97

Tasmania

Seville Estate

Seville Estate Reserve Chardonnay

2012

97

Yarra Valley, Victoria

A.Rodda Wines

A.Rodda Smiths Vineyard Beechworth

2012

96

Beechworth, Victoria

Penfolds Wines Pty Ltd

Penfolds Bin 10A Chardonnay

2010

95

Adelaide Hills, SA

Tyrrell’s Vineyards Pty Ltd

Vat 47 Chardonnay

2009

95

Hunter Valley, NSW

Galli Estate Winery

Galli Estate Pamela Chardonnay

2011

95

Sunbury, Victoria

Talisman Wines

Talisman Gabrielle Chardonnay

2012

94

Geographe, WA

Ridgemill Estate

Ridgemill Estate WYP chardonnay

2012

94

Granite Belt, QLD

Ross Hill Wines

Ross Hill Pinnacle Chardonnay

2012

94

Orange, NSW