Leeuwin Estate has set a high benchmark for many years. They are constantly lauded for their Margaret River Chardonnay and Cabernet, but their whole range is stunning.
[box]Leeuwin Estate Art Series Margaret River Chardonnay 2017 and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.[/box]
2017 is great. But it is just a baby. Clean, cashews, brine, ripe stone fruits, a hint of caramelly oak, coconut and spice. The palate is lighter than I remember the young Art Series being. Dry, focused nice acid, long, zesty, clean. It is a great wine. It is young, don’t drink it for about 10 years.
Is there a better Margaret River Chardonnay? Or indeed in Australia? There is no doubt to anyone who has tasted this wine that is it world-class. Coming from vines planted in 1974 it has depth and concentration. And recent tastings have shown that under screwcap, the wine ages at a slow rate. Almost frustratingly so.
Leeuwin Estate Margaret River Chardonnay 2017 Wine Review
James Halliday – Australian Wine Companion
“This achieves another step up the quality ladder for Leeuwin Estate, seemingly impossible. There’s been no change in the vinification, nor in the vineyard. The change is an increase in the intensity of the flavours, and hence their length and aftertaste. It’s an extraordinary wine, among the greatest of Burgundy (and elsewhere in the world). Whatever you expect from its future development will be delivered. Drink by 2032.”
Three hours south of Perth is the land of Cabernet and Chardonnay. Right on the ocean, the climate allows the grapes to mature slowly on the vine. The wines are more powerful in the North and more elegant in the south. The best wines are world-class and are priced to reflect this.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to, and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring, as can malolactic fermentation.
The invasion of “Sunshine in a bottle” put Australian wine on the map. The fruity, easy-going, somewhat samey wines were endearing for a short time. Then the next big thing knocked them off their perch.
This forced producers to increase quality and emphasise the special terroirs of Australia. Of which, there are many. And many more yet to be discovered.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.