The 2012 Fisheye Chardonnay is sourced from vineyards in South Eastern Australia. FishEye is one of Underdog Wine & Spirits many labels, others include Cupcake, Big House, Herding Cats, flipflop and Pinot Evil. CWF reviewed the 2011 vintage and since the 2012 grape harvest in South Australia is said to be the best vintage in 20 years, we thought we would check to see if we can taste the difference. They do not give much information on the production of this Chard, but the back of the bottle says, “Fresh-picked apples and pears with a touch of vanilla.” That probably means it no malolactic fermentation and some sort of oak conditioning. This is a bottle that is readily available and I found selling for $5.47 on sale. The alcohol content is 13%.
The color is shiny, pale golden yellow. The nose is orange blossom honey, melon, basque pear, lemon and gum drop spice. This is a medium to light bodied Chardonnay, but it has a husky mouthfeel. It starts with Honey Crisp apple, lemon chiffon, pear and tart grapefruit. The mid palate shows a hint of peaches in cream, a touch of honey and dash of lime. There is a solid bit of acidity that gives this inexpensive Chardonnay some decent body and length. The finish lasts pretty long for a $5.47 wine.
Well, one wine comparison does not prove the superiority of the 2012 vintage, but the 2012 Fisheye Chardonnay has more balance and complexity that the 2011. It is my opinion that South Eastern Australia produces the best inexpensive Chardonnay, they are perfect, “Hey, lets have a cook-out” white wines, crisp, refreshing and with enough acidity to cleanse the palate. And now, with the 2012 vintage, these fun, easy going Chardonnay’s have gained a bit of complexity and personality.