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Community Tasting Notes (average 42 notes) - and median of 92 pts. in hiding notes with no text
| ||Tasted by Giggs on 4/9/2014 & rated 93 points: Excellent. Waxy, cream cheese icing, creamy nose. Since 2010, the buttery aspects have evolved into creamy, almost oily texture. The citrus component has lost its lime edge and is now more lemon-orange. Drink now-2017. (1184 views)|
| ||Tasted by Wrighty on 9/7/2013 & rated 92 points: Showing some complexity and good minerality. Held up well and still has years ahead of it - shame it's the last one! (1560 views)|
| ||Tasted by Vintomas on 5/23/2013 & rated 93 points: Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay (AuZone, Stockholm): Bright yellow. The nose is slightly smoky, shows ripe yellow fruit, some citrus, honey, spice, some flower, some nuts, with development in evidence. The palate has powerful citrus notes, some honey, mineral and mint, good acidity, and a long minerally aftertaste.|
Good development, but also has freshness. (2060 views)
| ||Tasted by Paul S on 3/1/2013 & rated 91 points: Dinner at Michelle and Boren's (Sydney, Australia): Coming to the end of its drinking window, but this was a good wine that was very much enjoyed by all. It had a ripe nose that could not be anything but a new world Chardonnay, with rich yellow stone fruit aromas shaded by tropical tones and developed scents of honey, caramel and spice. A hint of buttery oak and oatmeal more or less confirmed that it was new world for me. A decent nose though. The palate was pretty large scaled, but also very well-controlled, with quite a good amount of orangey citrus acidity laced through its ripe stone fruit flavours, with nectarines at the fore, and then pineapple tones at the midpalate before another toasty, oatmeal twist and a nice dose of spiciness at the end. This was quite nice indeed, but about time to drink up I think, as the wine seem to be coming apart and losing its shape slightly at the edges. (2699 views)|
| ||Tasted by Dubie on 1/16/2013 & rated 90 points: An enjoyable wine, but did not have the power on the night to compete with its American cousins. Also, on its decline. In summary an elegant wine that should be drunk soon. (2049 views)|
| ||Tasted by JerM on 1/14/2013 & rated 95 points: (NewYear Brunner w Mandy, Grace, Justina, Adel & Geoff @Mich&Bo's) Glowing golden in glass. Rich, oily nose of melons, oystershell, savory distant rockpool, pine resin and general chard funk. The taste followed tightly on with a complex structure of concentrated honey, white florals, oily butter, fresh sandalwood and cedar shavings, saffron and cardammon, along with hints of banana. Full, great concentration, with well integrated layers of stuff going on, held tall with light youthful acidity and oily viscosity, showing shale minerality and light hay and dried summer flowers on the finish. Liquid gold, well aged. Textural, this was toe-curlingly perfect with Bo's incredible crackling pork belly and the super creamy salmon sashimi. Incredible stuff - easily stands shoulder to shoulder with white burgs in weight and complexity, balance and finesse. Refreshing and exciting! (1667 views)|
| ||Tasted by 52winelover on 12/13/2012: Had 6 bottles, number 3 was spoiled too bad. (995 views)|
| ||Tasted by don_quichotte on 2/2/2012 & rated 91 points: Pretty prevalent notes of oak upfront but that dissipated after a few minutes in the glass. Some honey, slight butterscotch and pretty vibrant fruit. Could have used a tad more acidity but overall great balance. Probably the best Oz chard I've had so far: could stand up to a decent burg 1er cru! (1619 views)|
| ||Tasted by presterjohn on 2/1/2012: Asparagus pee, great acidity and a rich unctuous base - guessed bordeaux blanc 2000! opens to more recognisable chardonnay butteriness; citrus, tropical fruits; unusual character and verve. very good. could last a long time (1374 views)|
| ||Tasted by AlanM68 on 4/4/2011 & rated 93 points: When I first tasted this perhaps 5 years ago, aromas of pineapple, banana and other tropical fruits burst out of the bottle - and continued on in the glass both on the nose and on the mouth. At 11 years old, it's still showing very well although without the vibrancy that it had then. But it still sparkles, showing very well against a bottle of 1er cru burgundy of the same age tasted alongside it. I have 5 bottles left and won't be in a rush to drink them - i think 2-3 more years easily. (1920 views)|
| ||Tasted by hutch on 12/25/2010 & rated 90 points: Another solid bottle. Still, a couple years past when they should have been drunk, though. (2271 views)|
| ||Tasted by StewartWent on 11/4/2010 & rated 92 points: Geoff Lindsay's 50th: Bright and prickly early but soon settled. Very classy but starting to age. Did change markedly in the glass over 20 min and shed its acidic tightness quickly. (2604 views)|
| ||Tasted by hutch on 11/1/2010 & rated 91 points: Hooray! My third bottle of this was a beautiful Chardonnay, wonderfully balanced, a beautiful yellow color, and with no oxidation. It was still not the best bottle I've had from this vintage, but I think it's as good as you're going to get at this point. Classy, full of fruit, and delicious. (2215 views)|
| ||Tasted by hutch on 10/7/2010 & rated 88 points: 10/7/10: This particular bottle is past it's prime. Poured a deep golden color, like a desert wine. Still nice fruit, but not at the level that I've had in the past with this wine. After a couple of hours, most of the fruit faded and it was obviously old, but it was not oxidized or anything. 87|
10/10/10: I paid next to nothing for these, so I'm not going to complain here, but I can tell these will be all over the map. This one is better then the last, showing more fruit and less carmalization, and wasn't quite as dark. It was a good chard, but not at the level that this wine once was. The cork was pristine, so I'm not feeling very good that any of my bottles will be remarkable. 88+ (2315 views)
| ||Tasted by Giggs on 10/2/2010 & rated 94 points: Beautiful. More acidity than previous bottle. Buttered popcorn, lemon-lime, chalky blue stone, smoke. No hard edges, just an exceptional Chardonnay. (2166 views)|
| ||Tasted by Giggs on 8/7/2010 & rated 93 points: Nice wine. Vibrant gold color. Excellent cork seal, so no concern there. Nose of fresh lemon, blue stone, smoke, and butter. Acidity is there, but not overwhelming. Good viscosity and weight, and extremely balanced mouthfeel. Looking forward to next bottle. (2229 views)|
| ||Tasted by mcnfarmer on 4/9/2010 flawed bottle: over the hill. gone-zo. If U have any of this, drink NOW! (3049 views)|
| ||Tasted by chatters on 2/27/2010 & rated 88 points: Standard, though no less wonderful for that, quality Margaret River Chardonnay. Pineapple, cream, some acidity. Not much finish. I'd say this one is marginally past its peak, unfortunately. (2437 views)|
| ||Tasted by padapuma on 11/27/2009 & rated 96 points: Color was vibrant gold. Very youthful with immensley concentracted lemon and tropical flavors. Great acidity and the after taste lasted for minutes. Wow (2668 views)|
| ||Tasted by Yiannis on 8/31/2009 & rated 95 points: What a wine! I was totally amazed with its power, class and freshness given the age.|
Gold-green. Explosive aromas of melon, exotic fruits, peaches, honey, some minerals and herbs with perfectly integrated oak. Full-bodied with a burst of fruit on the palate, perfectly balanced by high acidity. Very youthful. Almost endless aftertaste. Magnificent! (2803 views)
| ||Tasted by Wrighty on 8/1/2009 & rated 93 points: Deeper colour, almost honey with a hint of green still. Melon, some nuts, and a hint of pear drop on the nose. Palate shows more wood but now settled, melon also comes through. Finish is minerally and decent. Drank this without thinking - it was 'I need to relax with a good wine' night and only really studies with last glass. It did it's primary job and actual did better than last time on the secondary. (2852 views)|
| ||Tasted by jlgnml on 7/18/2009 & rated 91 points: Honey color, soft nose, no hint of oak, flavorful and lasting on the palate. (2880 views)|
| ||Tasted by jlgnml on 1/24/2009 & rated 92 points: Great balance. Enjoyable and the other half of the wine for tonight. Good citrus, nice fruit. (2926 views)|
| ||Tasted by SimonG on 9/25/2008: Pale to mid yellow. Lovely nose of roasted pineapple, melon, spice and mineral. Lovely fruit in quite a taut, restrained style for Oz, very Cote d'O in character. Long finish with mineral and decent acidity. Ready now but no immediate hurry. Excellent. **** (2972 views)|
| ||Tasted by otisabdul on 8/17/2008 & rated 90 points: A well-balanced and elegant chardonnay, more in line with Puligny-Montrachet than New World. Fruit and acidity were a little more muted than anticipated, but secondary elements like honey, pecan, and smoke were prominent. The flagging acidity makes me think this might have been better a couple years ago. Drink up. (2984 views)|
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NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and James Halliday Australian Wine Companion. (manage subscription channels)
|By Stephen Tanzer|
Vinous, July/August 2004, IWC Issue #115
(Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series Margaret River) Subscribe to see review text.
|By James Halliday|
James Halliday Australian Wine Companion (10/12/2003)
(Leeuwin Estate Art Series Margaret River Chardonnay) Subscribe to see review text.
|By Jeremy Oliver|
Vinous, July/August 2003, IWC Issue #109
(Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series Margaret River) Subscribe to see review text.
Leeuwin Estate Producer web site
Leeuwin Estate, one of the founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district, consistently produces wines that rank with the world's finest.
In 1972, following an extensive search for the area most suitable to produce the best varietal wines in Australia, legendary American winemaker, Robert Mondavi, identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard.
Originally a cattle farm, Leeuwin Estate evolved, under the direction of Denis and Tricia Horgan, with Robert Mondavi acting as consultant and mentor.
A nursery was planted in 1974 and the initial vineyards were deep-ploughed, deep-ripped, emptied of stone, planned, pegged, measured, marked and eventually planted by hand over a five year period from 1975.
Featuring state-of-the art facilities, the winery building was opened in 1978, celebrating with a trial vintage. Leeuwin enjoyed its first commercial vintage in 1979, and was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1980 "Art Series" Chardonnay in an international blind tasting.
Maintaining a team of highly skilled and dedicated winemakers, and now under the direction of two generations of the founding family, Leeuwin now exports to over 30 countries.
Leeuwin Estate, an iconic producer of premium wines made from grapes grown in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, recognises that its environmental responsibilities are of significant importance to its staff, suppliers, customers and the local community.
As a family business the Estate is committed to managing the environmental effects of its operations through responsible stewardship, with the aim of maintaining a sustainable environment for future generations. To accomplish these goals Leeuwin Estate applies best practice standards for environmental management in all facets of the business.
The Margaret River district features pristine white sandy beaches, spectacular coastline and amazing surf. It is surrounded by majestic karri forests, is nestled within picturesque farmland and enjoys a balmy temperate climate.
Complemented by fine restaurants, art galleries and boutique luxury accommodation, Margaret River has spawned one of the world's most dynamic and innovative wine tourism industries.
Located in the South West of Western Australia, approximately 280 km south of Perth, Leeuwin Estate enjoys a unique environment that is highly complementary to the production of high quality varietal wines.
Less than 6 km from the ocean, Leeuwin Estate is approximately midway between Cape Naturaliste to the north and Cape Leeuwin, Australia’s most southwesterly point.
The area between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin is one of the most ancient parts of the world. It became isolated when the continental crust split leaving a 100 km sedimentary basin between it and the mainland. Today the basin contains some of the world’s largest mineral sand deposits.
This granitic island, where the Leeuwin vineyard is located, has weathered over millions of years and now provides us as vignerons with the ancient free draining gravel soils, which are highly complementary to the culture of the vine, as well as promoting great finesse in the wine.
Leeuwin’s rainfall is dictated by the “Roaring 40’s” which move north in our winter and south in our summer, with the oscillation of the earth. 85% of rainfall is therefore received during the cooler six months.
With oceans on three sides only changing water temperature by two degrees between summer and winter, the district has its own microclimate. Leeuwin’s vineyards are therefore protected from extremes of temperature and are frost-free during the critical spring growing period.
The mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures during the summer season are very similar to those of Bordeaux. The significant difference however is that our season opens slightly earlier and closes slightly later, providing us with greater latitude to ripen our fruit, whilst also accommodating earlier ripening varieties such as Chardonnay.
In all, the weather conditions in an “average” year in Margaret River equate to those that Bordeaux only enjoys occasionally in “great” years.
From Fruit to Wine
Great wines are born in great vineyards, and at Leeuwin the viticulturist and winemaker work hand-in-hand throughout the entire winemaking process, combining their skills to create wines of distinction.
Careful study, and the eventual grafting of some vines has revealed the best varieties for the Leeuwin vineyard to be Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon; Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz make up the diversity of the vineyard, which also incorporates smaller plantings of varieties utilised for blending.
Enjoying such an isolated and pristine natural environment, the emphasis of Leeuwin's viticultural practice is minimal interventionist. Working with the environment and through skilled vineyard management, Leeuwin is able to produce fine fruit in an environmentally friendly manner.
Vineyards are kept balanced with the yearly environmental conditions. With the emphasis on quality rather than quantity, yields at Leeuwin are kept low.
Boasting one of the most modern wineries in the Southern hemisphere, Leeuwin Estate offers its winemakers all the advantages of new age technology.
Winemaking however is an art as well as a science, and it is here where the skills of the winemaker are carefully combined with technology to produce the wines that have been so highly acclaimed.
Broadly following European winemaking techniques, Leeuwin is concentrating on achieving complexity, balance and longevity in its wines through a blend of modern and traditional methods.
Temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, two Bucher Pneumatic presses, and a cellar of imported French oak barrels, are at the disposal of the winemaker to ensure that the fruit is transformed into the intended style of wine.
Leeuwin Estate Wines
Leeuwin Estate releases its wines under four labels, the Art Series, Prelude Vineyards and Siblings. Whilst the wines in each portfolio follow different lives, they all share a place amongst the great wines of Australia, receiving much international acclaim and attention.
The “Art Series” represents Leeuwin’s finest wines from each vintage. The winemakers have always selected the optimum fruit, transforming it into Leeuwin’s highest quality and age-worthy wines. They are identified with paintings commissioned from leading contemporary Australian Artists.
Whilst "Art Series" wines are designed to age and ultimately to be the most opulent, "Prelude Vineyards" wines are made from fruit producing the most readily expressive wines, with the objective that they will drink well soon after release. A Chardonnay and a Cabernet Merlot are released under this label. During the course of assessing fruit from the vineyards, the winemakers have found that certain blocks, and even certain rows in particular blocks, tend to consistently produce fruit best suited to either of the two styles of Cabernet and Chardonnay they make.
The "Siblings" label represents wines intended for fresh early drinking. As a family business, this label celebrates the role the second generation of the Horgan family has played in the ongoing development of Leeuwin Estate.
Chardonnay Chardonnay on Appellation America
Australia Wine Australia (Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation) | Australian Wines (Wikipedia)
Margaret River Margaret River Wine Association