2012 Xanadu Margaret River Chardonnay

imageIf writing tasting notes or trying to promote discussion and debate in wine has taught me anything, it’s that the idea of what constitutes ‘boring’ is even more subjective than individual tastes. Notes are dismissed by self-satisfied consultant sommeliers because apparently no one reads them – a position which shows a vast lack of awareness my audience let alone that of a juggernaut like The Wine Front. Debate seems to be theoretically encouraged but then duly marginalised…probably because it involves more effort than writing notes. Anyway, I won’t call this Xanadu Chardonnay boring. I’ll refer to it as ‘standard issue’.

A step up in volume of cashew, nougat oak over the Next of Kin reviewed below with an accompanying increase in creaminess. Same sort of fruit flavours – more intense and less overtly tropical though. Let’s say it’s in the brown pear, (rock?)melon and ruby grapefruit spectrum. A dash of spice, no more. Good carry. Gets the job done. 90

Region: Margaret River
Alcohol: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $35
Tasted: June 2014


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7 Responses to 2012 Xanadu Margaret River Chardonnay

  1. Michael Charles says:

    I would have said boring – at least that’s what I’ve thought of some previous releases. It does it’s job, but it doesn’t excite me – isn’t that ‘boring’? ‘Standard issue’ is cleverly a bit pejorative too!!


  2. I can understand your definition of boring and I can understand you finding it boring – but I believe we both get to taste and drink a lot of wine. I don’t think this is necessarily intrinsically boring…more “standard issue” :)

    • Michael Charles says:

      I’ve had a really good last 2 weeks with wine – it doesn’t always happen that way. Interest and excitement. There really is so much very good to great wine around at reasonable prices that drinking a wine that doesn’t really interest you is, in the words of Len Evans, tantamount to smashing one of the interesting bottles up against a wall. Then again, we need the lows to appreciate the highs …


      • While I agree that there’s a great deal of wine around that I find exciting and certain other enthusiasts find exciting I also believe that many people are looking for a wine just like this. Well made and comforting. Would I buy it? No – but I’ll drink it if it’s poured for me. Do I think the old Len Evans mantra applies to this wine? No. It just seems elitist. But I’m less predisposed toward Evans than most in wine circles.

        • Michael Charles says:

          I don’t necessarily regard the mantra is elitist. I don’t think it means that every bottle has to be Grand Cru Burgundy. I take it to mean that, if you’re not really into what you’re drinking, you should probably open something else. A wine you might not rate higher with a number might nevertheless provide the requisite interest on the day – that’s what matters to me.

          I don’t deny that the reviewed wine has a place – it certainly does. And I’d also probably quite enjoy a glass of it if it were offered to me.


          • Yes, a very fair point. Who knows what Evans meant? I never met the man…and even if I had it wouldn’t mean I fully understood him. But you can clearly interpret his words in different ways. Your interpretation seems extremely valid to me.

  3. Len Evans’ above quoted words are apt, though they apply strictly to genuine wine hobbyists. For many consumers, even those regularly spending $30ish, the thought of adding to their wine drinking by being able to recognise and vaguely recall the wine’s name is a horror inducing thought. For the wine to incite thought in them, even a positive one, can even be an unwelcome interruption.

    This is not to be confused with people who just want a drink of alcohol. Its more akin to asking everyone in a cafe with a latte in front of them to stop and consider whether their beans are Ethiopian or Indonesian.

    Its funny that many in the wine industry ask consumers one minute to make the effort to drink wine that goes with their food. Then the next minute, they don’t let the wine do just that.

    Obviously this is not my way of wine consumption, but like a good referee/umpire of a sports event, many want the wine to do such a great job, that they don’t even realise its there.

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