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Blend a perfect palate pleaser

BLENDING is an essential part of good wine making. In some cases the blending of different regions can influence the economic structure in addition to the flavour make-up of wine.

Often a single variety of grapes cannot be sourced from one region in sufficient quantities and in many cases the winemaker might think the regional differences gained from blending are necessary to make a wine of style and complexity.

Intra-winery blending is a constant reality, particularly when some of the vintage has been oak treated and some not.

The mix of the two parts makes a seamless join to finish with a tasty, well-structured whole.

A clever blend that arrived on my tasting bench was a 1999 vintage chardonnay from the Mad Fish label.

Mad Fish makers Howard Park sourced the chardonnay fruit from Margaret River and the Great Southern districts and has welded a harmonious dry white together in a perfect blend.

Riper, fuller and fruitier than its counterparts from the sister label, Mad Fish wines are fruit driven and in this dry white the tropical fruit flavours dance the Can Can on your palate.

I love cold-climate chardonnay and this white can do a knees up in my glass any time.

All the classic methods of crafting a happy chardonnay have gone into this wine. It has undergone the full treatment.

Malo lactic fermentation was done in new oak casks – this wine’s even had its lees stirred. There’s not a short cut in sight.

Winemakers design and craft some wines for the cellar where they benefit from bottle age.

The 1999 Mad Fish is not one of these. Its full fruity character is ready to be enjoyed now and its limited availability will probably ensure the wine will be consumed in 2000.

The malo lactic fermentation, or secondary fermentation, has functioned perfectly to soften the white.

You will find oak evident and sweet but not overpowering. There is a load of complexity to enhance this drink-me-now chardonnay.

Terrific with tucker and affordable at just over $22.

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