Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Wines of the week in lockdown, Chardonnays high and low

Chardonnay is the world’s favourite white aand here are two wines which speak for themselves, a tasty humble little French Chardonnay from Macon in southern Burgundy and a big, creamy, complex, nuanced dry white from winemaker Rod McDonald in Hawke’s Bay. 

Bargain buy $19.99


2017 Caves de Lugny Macon Villages Chardonnay $19.99

I’m always impressed with this tasty, full bodied French Chardonnay, made by Cave de Lugny, a cooperative of over 250 winemakers in the Macon in southern Burgundy. The Macon is the warmest area of the world’s most famous Chardonnay wine region and provides high quantities of grapes to make accessibly priced, very good quality dry whites like this one.

Top drop Chardonnay $70

2018 RM Trademark Chardonnay $70

Winemaker Rod McDonald believes Chardonnay and Syrah will become the flagship wines of Hawke’s Bay in the future and to prove he puts his money where his mouth is, the flagship white wine he produces has just been awarded an impressive 94/100 by Wine Advocate magazine when tasted alongside nearly 500 wines, only five of which were awarded the top score of 94/100 points. It was the only Chardonnay in the tasting to gain the top score.

Dry, fresh, full bodied and flinty. This is a great white both for drinking now and for future enjoyment.

This international result follows on from the success of the Trademark 2016 Syrah in The Global Masters 2019 series where it was awarded a Master medal at the same time as its maker, Rod McDonald was named on the inaugural Master Winemaker 100 list by the drinks business magazine.