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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW defends Chardonnay - the world's greatest white grape' - against the ABC movement. He says it suffers for its popularity: being easy to grow, pronounce, make and sell, but notes it makes wines that are rarely undrinkable', compared with styles that are popular as well as bad - White Zinfandel and most Pinot Grigio'. He admits that vast plantings of Chardonnay at the expense of indigenous grapes has reduced the diversity of the wine world but has also helped drinkers discover other varieties it is often blended with. And they don't all taste the same or cost a fortune, he notes, selecting four under 14 from Chile, South Africa and France.