Sunday, November 20, 2011


- South Eastern Australia
- $4-$11
- Screwcap
- 13.0%alc

The surprise packet Inheritance Chardonnay from 2009 gifted me much more drinking pleasure than I'd usually expect from a $5 wine. Were it not for a touch of heat through the finish, it would've scored even higher than the 87 points I awarded it 50 weeks ago. Taking that into account, it's good to see McWilliam's wound the alcohol back in the 2010.

Once again, it's hard to deny what's on offer here for much the same price as non-alcoholic chardonnay. Although not as well defined as the 2009, the 2010 Inheritance does reveal an inoffensive, light fragrance of citrus rind and kiwi fruit, smoothed out by a sly note of nut oil. If anything, it's a little too light on the nose, as it seems to lack varietal punch. This quibble carries over to the palate, where its cleanly textured, under-ripe melon and lemon tart flavours become more citric accented down the line, courtesy of a brisk influence of bitey, grapefruit-like acids. It's well made for the price and shows a relatively kind transition from smooth entry to crisp finish, it just needs more flavour, that's all. Drink cold.

O A very plausible, clean expression of what's essentially a generic white wine. Even though that may be its purpose in life, I was hoping for something a bit more 'chardonnay-like', like its predecessor. Drink to 2012.
85 points


  1. I'd say less is more at this price point. It's hard to find white wine that isn't astringent, phenolic, bitter or have alcohol heat for so little.

    The 2009 was guilty as charged of more than one of the above, but the 2010 has none. Sure it doesn't have the intensity of a top quality white. But it does have more flavour than should be expected at this price including a good after taste. It's clean, fresh and, for me, rather enjoyable. I know it might make some 'serious' wine fans uncomfortable that you can get good wine for $4. But so be it.

    Halliday gives it 89 points and I couldn't disagree with that.

  2. Fair enough and very valid points Anon. Indeed, at $4, the 2010 Inheritance Chardonnay is another white I'd be willing to revisit, particularly as a 'some for you, some for me' mid-week cooking wine.

    Strange as it might sound to some, sub-$10 wine is a category I'd like to cover more on this website. As much as serious wine fans may poo-poo the category, there's no doubting its volume of sales and its appeal to many. If you have any wines you'd like to recommend, I'd highly appreciate it.

    Chris P

  3. All halliday guided:

    De Bortoli Sacred Hill Riesling 2010 (89JH)
    (Available at First Choice*)

    De Bortoli Sacred Hill SSB 2011 (90JH)
    (Also available at First Choice*)

    Most of the 'big' money goes on red.......

    *Unless I bought them all :)

  4. The only reds I can drink under $10 (RRP) are Deakin Estate shiraz (lighter bodied)
    Wine Men of Gotham shiraz (a big, 'serious' red given the price)

  5. Thanks. I've used those Sacred Hill wines as cooking/drinking wines before and not minded them at all. I'll see what I can hunt down. :)

    Chris P

  6. The vintages make a huge difference. These are exceptional wines. If you picked a random Sacred Hill wine, it probably wouldn't be too good.

  7. In-doobetebly. :) Think I'll be hunting down the 2011 Sacred Hill SSB. Sounds fresh enough to me. :)

  8. Earth calling Chris! Do you read me? Over.

    I've been sampling some high quality chardonnays from here and NZ and I still think this is superb value.

    I have to disagree with one point you made. When the weather is not so hot and you drink this only slightly chilled, the flavours come bursting out (well, relatively speaking!)

    So, I'd say don't drink cold. Just slightly below room temperature.

    On a hot day go for a chilled riesling for ultimate refreshment....