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JOHN ROZENTALS Has the Pleasure of Tasting a Margaret River Chardonnay Showing Exceptional Power and Intensity of Flavour.

June 9, 2018 Beverage, Headline News No Comments Email Email

As an extremely fortunate and regular imbiber of great bottles and scribbler about wine, one of the most difficult questions posed to me goes along the lines of: “If I spend $50 on a bottle will I get five times as good a wine than if I spend just $10?”

My answer usually goes something like this: “You should certainly expect a significantly better wine but I really doubt that it will be five times better.”

Just as a top-line Mercedes is a better car then a Commodore but doesn’t really some out as that much better than their respective price tags would suggest.

I remember, from very hazy days long ago, learning in economics about the law of diminishing returns. I’m sure that this question is somehow related to that, though I can’t quite pin down how.

I suppose that, in a nutshell, each improvement in grape quality comes only at a much more significant cost.

I pondered this over a glass of exceptional chardonnay, produced principally from Margaret River fruit by Janice McDonald at Western Australia’s Howard Park.

As my tasting notes indicate, this wine is one of the richest and most intensely flavoured white wines I have had the pleasure of sipping.

It’s priced at $54 and significantly better than your average $10-a-bottle chardonnay. But five times better? I doubt it, but if I had the readies I know which I’d rather be drinking.



Howard Park 2017 Miamup Sauvignon Blanc Semillon ($28): an excellent example of why this blend has become a Margaret River Classic. While most of the fruit is cold fermented in stainless-steel tanks, some batches are fermented in oak. The resultant complexity shows. A great match for the best oysters you can lay you hands on.

Howard Park 2017 Flint Rock Pinot Noir ($28): Winemaker Janice McDonald has sourced 85 per cent of the fruit for this delightful red from the Great Southern region, a goodly drive east Margaret River. Fruit flavours are dominated by cherries and roast duck would be my accompanying dish of choice.


Howard Park 2017 Chardonnay ($54): An absolute marvel of rich and intense chardonnay fruit flavours that really do epitomise why Margaret River has emerged as an Australian — and, indeed, world — king. A pleasure to drink. Bring on the crayfish salad.

Written by John Rozentals

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