I don't know where I would have thought this was from if I was tasting it blind, but you can be pretty certain I wouldn't have identified it as a vineyard in Essex vinified in Devon. And even if I'd hit upon England, I doubt I would have identified it as a product of the frost-devastated 2017 vintage. It goes to show how local and uneven frost can be: Martin's Lane Vineyard escaped most of the damage and the rest of the season was favourable enough for the harvest to take place up to three weeks earlier than in the two previous years and favourable enough to produce this very attractive, oak-matured Chardonnay.
The aromas and taste are bright, buoyant and refreshing, with citrus, pineapple and peach framed by toasted-cashew nut and a nicely rounded texture after 11 months' ageing in oak barrels with lees stirring.
It doesn't need food, but it's a good wine for lemon and/or creamy chicken, fish, seafood or pasta, has enough zingy acidity and fruit to go with vibrant salads and vegetables and it could handle mild coconut-milk curries. 12.5%
Lyme Bay Chardonnay 2017, English Quality Wine, England
£17.99 (mix six), £19.99 (single bottle), Majestic