The Liquor Cabinet

The Best Chardonnay You Can Get For Less Than 20 Bucks

Ged Bellis, Wine Program Director at Sydney’s beloved Nomad restaurant, provides a sommelier’s guide through seven of the best and best-value chardonnays you can try.

Chardonnay for less than 20 bucks

Chardonnay is by far the most planted white grape in Australia, and wine drinkers here have had a long love affair with the varietal. Since hitting Australian shores in 1832, chardonnay has taken root in every major wine region in the country — a testament to both our obsession with, and the versatility of, Aussie chardonnay.


Styles have certainly yo-yoed over the years, and not every interpretation suits every palate. The thick and oaky chardonnay styles that were popular in the past are giving way to those of a lighter, more elegant ilk with a purer expression of terroir, as drinkers’ tastes evolve, but one thing is for sure — there’s never been a better time to drink chardonnay.


Ged Bellis, Wine Program Director at Sydney’s beloved Nomad restaurant (where he runs a monthly wine school), provides a sommelier’s guide through seven of the best and best-value chardonnays you can try.

Taylors “One Small Step” Chardonnay



This is an unoaked wine designed for early drinking. The nose is very clean and fruit-driven with lifted white pear and candied lemon. The palate is all green apple and a hint of grapefruit on the finish. With its vivacious acid line, it will be nice as an apéritif or with some lighter vegetarian dishes. 



Jacob’s Creek “Nature’s Craft” Chardonnay



The organic wine is quite rich on the nose with cooked quince and butterscotch aromas. The palate is rounded without being too fat, and there is enough freshness on the finish to leave a nice balance. Definitely in the “old-school” style of Aussie chardonnay. 



Tussock Jumper Chardonnay



The hue is quite golden, but the nose on this one is subtle and restrained. I loved the aromas of Meyer lemon and just ripe peach with a touch of honeysuckle as well. The palate has a touch of sweetness and opulence that would satisfy those who like a more fruity and generous style. 



Evans & Tate Chardonnay


Pale in the glass and youthful on the nose while the palate is vibrant and zesty. A lot of lemony citrus and fresh-cut green apple on the finish with a slight stony element as well. This is a fresh chardonnay style that I’d recommend enjoying with some lightly grilled white fish. 



Bumblebee Chardonnay


Quite a complex nose with savoury elements (roasted nuts and bread dough) interplaying with ripe stone fruit aromas. There is very good texture and clean finish with persistent flavour. This is excellent value and my top pick of the line-up. Extra props for being organic and vegan friendly. 



Selaks Taste Collection Buttery Chardonnay


The name here leaves no mistaking on the intended style, and it certainly delivers on its promise. Lots of sweet vanilla and creaminess with some overripe nectarine and toffee apple. The palate is broad and generous, with a bit of sweetness on the finish. An unashamedly opulent drop!



Fat Bastard Chardonnay


A quirky name that leaves nothing to the imagination. A golden hue in the glass and an aroma that is exotic and decadent — ripe banana and yellow apples with a golden caramel element. The palate is no less generous, with heaps of sweet oak to soak up the ripe fruit flavours. 



So, whether chardonnay is your tried-and-true favourite or you’re yet to try this white wine, there is something for everyone.

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