Aldi chardonnay trumps top wines
An AUD $14.99 wine has bearded the lion in its den!
Aldi’s 2017 Blackstone Paddock Limited Release Margaret River Chardonnay won two trophies at the recent Western Australian Wine Show in Mount Barker: best chardonnay of show and best white wine of show.Aldi’s Australian wines are produced by various highly regarded wineries whose identities are a carefully guarded secret.
This is one of the regional wine shows where there is stiff competition for chardonnay. You won’t find Leeuwin Estate, Cullen or Woodlands entering their wines, but you will find many other top names. Among the field that Blackstone Paddock beat were Vasse Felix Heytesbury, Flametree SRS, Deep Woods Single Vineyard, Stella Bella Luminosa, Nocturne and Xanadu Stevens Road (all gold medals), as well as other fancy opposition in a class of 108 wines.
Blackstone Paddock is a proprietary label of the supermarket retailer Aldi. Several of its wines have rated highly on The Real Review over the last few years, including the Blackstone Paddock Barossa Valley shirazes, which are outstanding value for money. The two prior vintages of the Margaret River chardonnay have scored 93 and 92, while the 2017 scored 95. All have been priced at AUD $14.99.
I’m sure there are a few Margaret River winemakers who are scratching their heads and wondering how Aldi does it.
Aldi’s Australian wines are produced by various highly regarded wineries whose identities are a carefully guarded secret. The man in charge of the wine category for Aldi, who has considerable input into determining the style of the wines, is Sydney-based Jason Bowyer. He commented:
“This wine is not a money-making venture for Aldi. It’s all barrel-fermented and gets the full bag of winemaking tricks. It receives all the attention that the maker’s own wines receive. We regard it as a commitment to our reputation for high quality. It’s an investment in building perception.”
In other words, they’re probably not making their usual profit on the wine. That’s a win for the consumer.
“The Blackstone Paddock (chardonnay) was pipped at the post for best wine of show by a shiraz, but it was still a pretty awesome result for a AUD $14.99 chardonnay. We won gold at Perth for the same wine.”
It will be interesting to see if it can repeat the effort at the Margaret River Wine Show at the end of October. I’m told it has been entered.