Close Menu

Global Masters Wine of the Week: Howard Park Allingham Chardonnay

Every week we select a wine that picked up either a Gold or Master from our competition series, and tell you why the judges loved it. Enter the Global Masters and this could be your wine.

In honour of International Women’s Day this Sunday (8 March), we wanted to draw your attention to an Aussie winemaker who is making some of the best Chardonnay in Margaret River.

Janice McDonald studied wine at the Riverina College in Wagga before expanding her horizons by working vintages across Australia, getting a better feel for the unique terroirs and the styles of each region.

She did a stint at Vasse Felix in 1985, then decided to try her hand at beer by joining Matilda Bay Brewing Co. She returned to wine seven years later when she was hired as the senior winemaker at Devil’s Lair in Margaret River. She founded her own winery with partner Stuart Pym in 2000, and was later picked up by Burch Family Wines, where she is now chief winemaker for the company’s label, Howard Park.

Her favourite part of the job is blending Chardonnay, and it’s easy to see why when she has created so many award-winning expressions throughout the years.

This one, The Allingham, is made from grapes grown on the south facing slopes of Howard Park’s Allingham vineyard in Karridale, a southern suburb of Margaret River.

The 2016 is all the more special because the harvest commenced amidst devastating bushfires in the nearby Harvey and Waroona shires, which put all wineries in the state on high alert. Thanks to several stages of fermentation, maturation and blending, this wine is remarkably complex with fruity notes of lime zest, grapefruit and honeysuckle on the nose.

On drinking, you can sense the care and attention that has gone into each stage of the winemaking process. Creamy vanilla flavours and a soft palate support bright citrus and pear. Our judges were also impressed with the wine’s balanced acidity and long finish.

You could easily drink this wine on its own, but you could do a lot worse than opening this on Sunday to serve with a roast chicken.

The wine: Howard Park Allingham Chardonnay 2016

The source: Margaret River, Australia

The grape(s): Chardonnay (100%)

ABV: 13%

Method:  The juice was fermented in a mix of French oak barriques, hogsheads and puncheons (40% of which was new oak). Separate parcels were matured on lees, in barrel for 9 months, before McDonald worked her magic on the blend.

The style: A dry, barrel-aged, complex yet composed Margaret River Chardonnay

The winemaker: Janice McDonald

The price: £50+.

The medal: Master – The Chardonnay Masters 2017

Click here to find out more about our 2019 Chardonnay competition.

With high quality judges and a unique sampling process, the Global Wine Masters provides a chance for your wines to star, whether they hail from the great vineyards of Europe or lesser-known corners of the New World.

It’s a competition dedicated to making winners out of winemakers.

Please visit the Global Masters website for more information, or please call +44 (0)20 7803 2420 or email Sophie Raichura at:

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No