Served as the third white at last night's wine group dinner at Two Chefs. Delicious! Unanimous hit, though no one deduced it was from Aussieland. Rich, definitely not typical Cali tropical fruits. Great structure and flavor profile. My last bottle of the 2002, alas. I do love Margaret River chards. Time to move on to the next vintage
Light golden color. Tropical fruits, vanilla, floral, lime on nose. Weighty fruit on entry, but lightens up by mid palate with acidity and mineral streak kicking in. Finishes with a creaminess over the mineral. Matched to a rich pan-fried fish with parsnips and red pepper/sumac coulis.
Pear and tropical fruits on the nose. A wide variety of tropical fruits including guava at first, then adding in a berry component and finishing with pear, lime and mineral – very good complexity. Incredible richness and depth overall. Oak and acidity have nearly totally integrated with the wine leaving a creamy richness on the finish. This wine is drinking at peak and should be drunk in the next year.
Score reserved only because I have no experience with Aussie chard this old.
Beautiful golden color.
This wine was beautifully developed. Nutty as described by others. Almost oxidized in character though perfectly stored since release. Acidity remained on finish with fairly bright lemony notes. A pleasure to drink. Glad I held this.
A vast and powerful Art Series. Harmonious, deep, a finish that last minutes. A dream wine. And in prime form. It will go longer but this is the tops. What a pleasure to even having met you, let alone known you. (I would agree with the CT drink dates here).
Just on that cusp of drinking really well and falling into too much nuttiness territory. There are grilled nuts, ripe peaches and tangerines. It is full and rich with some honeyed development. Acidity is beginning to fold into the wine and it has good length.
Bright yellow/chartreuse color after 10 years! Nose shows lemon oil, oak, and spice. On the palate, the attack begins with lemon but is quickly framed by significant oak. The weight of the wine handles the oak well, but the fruit is starting to fade. A good dose of acidity keeps it all in check. Quite enjoyable. Still my favorite new world chardonnay.
Ditto my notes from 10/24/2010 and tantotinto's notes from 9/19/12. If anything it is even better now. Deep, deep golden yellow. Concentrated aromas of citrus, green apple, grapefruit and much more. Lots of flavor(s) including honey. Very much in harmony/balance with lively acidity. The finish keep going. Years to go. Nice that I have 8 left.
Golden yellow color. Great nose of citrus, wet rocks and sea air. Full and creamy texture. Meyer lemon, cream, and pear with a touch of honey and spice in the long finish. Juicy, luscious and concentrated and kept lively by perfectly balancing acidity. This is easily one of the best Chardonnays that I have tasted.
Another consistent super high quality Chardonnay from Leeuwin Estate. The 2002 is amazing new world Chardonnay that exhibits a perfect balance of fruit, acidity and oak. This full bodied Chardonnay is a bit different from previous vintages but is equally amazing in quality. Rather than the standard lemon pineapple "tropical" flavours of previous vintages I find pear and apple showing more prominently. The wine is without any fault and can only be described as the perfect new world Chardonnay. In the mouth we can also experience tertiary qualities of honey and a bouquet of flowers. Superb balance and a very long finish of citrus fruit with a smoky like characteristic.
Agree with MrBuzz below. A case of this leads to some duds. This was one of them. Lacked the exotic tropical fruit that I am used to, even at this age (the 2001 is still going strong) but it's still good and compared well against an 02 leflaive clavoillon. Each to their own of course.
This was sensational. Less of the very exuberant aromatics of a young Art Series, meaning less lemon and tropical fruit, more pear and cream. And then on the palate -- sizzle. The cream and this intense minerality sparked of by juicy, tangy acidity. The finish was incredible. Really hit its stride about four hours after being open. While I love it right now, and think it must be at its peak, it seems like it could keep going further. I believe I have two more bottles, we shall see.
Almost done with a case purchased around release...some duds..but for the most part, killer bottles! This one is another killer bottle! Brilliant yellow, green metallic color...wonderful nose of lemons, stones, buttered honeycomb, grilled pineapple with caramel. Fresh and crisp as can be in the mouth....loaded with tropical fruits, as well as citrusy lemon, and sweet grapefruit. Lots of crushed minerals...salted caramel, exotic wood...but very bright and alive. Still some bitters on the finish...but all in all, drinking absolutely wonderful right now! A Coche-Dury down under!
Not going to rate as this was suffering from some premature oxidation. Some lovely aromas were to be found, but they were short lived. The fruit struggled to express itself. Very unfortunate, but it happens. This was purchased on release, stored well and the cork was in excellent condition. I'll check on my '04s before year's end to see how they're coming along. The standout feature here was the color, deep gold, but not much else.
PnP at Yanni's in Poway, CA. It's been sometime since I've tried this wine, having forgotten just how ripe and rich (yet balanced, if such a thing is possible) it is. Plenty of ripe, honey-draped orchard fruits, with creamy malo and stone fruit notes rounding out the profile. On the palate, it comes across Kistler-esque - in your face, with no mistaking the intention. Still, the purity of fruit can not be ignored, nor can the streak of natural acidity that deftly ties everything together. It's been 5 days and I swear I still have the quince notes in the back of my mind. Drink thru 2016, 14,5% abv
This bottle really sang for us. We compared to a 2001 and this had much more fruit and weight on the nose and palate. Great length. Superb wine. Only two more left. Too sad. Would be great to compare to a big white burgundy in a blind tasting.
2011 Simple Series V: Benchmark Aussies 10-Years and Older (The Moomba @ Circular Road): Alcohol 14.5% Heavier dose of oak influenced yellow fruits with vanilla, lemon and fresh mineral. Sweet entry with pretty balance of oak, acid and ripe yellow fruits that accompany by the lemon custard, fresh herb with good cut and precision to it with creamy mouth feel that linger with mineral long finish. Quite elegance. My WOTN. Buy - Maybe.
2011 Simple Series V: Benchmark Aussies 10-Years and Older (The Moomba, Circular Road): This was really, really good. Lovely nose showed maturing scents of earth, mushroom, yeast and sous bois, almost a bit funky here, alongside some toast and a nice layer of ripe white fruit. A whole lot deeper and more complex of a bouquet than the Bannockburn Chard we started the dinner out with. The palate here was mouthfilling, with a creamy layer of white fruit and butter, plenty of sweet lemons and some yellow-fleshed stone fruit fanning out from the attack, through a fleshy mid-palate and then into long, clingy finish with a nice juiciness. Lots of substance here, clearly new world in its sunny ripeness, but everything is nicely balanced and integrated. Delicious stuff, and drinking very nicely. I thought this was just that tad better put together than the 2003 Art Series on the same flight.
Much better than the last bottle of a few months back. Lots of lemony citrus, along with pear and buttery popcorn type flavors (though not overdone). Less flabby than last time. Indeed, enjoyable. Deep golden color with a taste to match. Not sure what to think since this and the last bottle were both bought on release and stored together perfectly. This one has years to go and has a real positive snap to it.
Simply superb, as with most Art Series Chardonnay. Loads of aromas citrus, pear, grapefruit. Dittos the flavors. Medium weight, creamy. Almost honey. Still loads of acidity. Very well balanced. Years to go.
Sort of disappointing. The wine is holding together well, but it just seems a little flabby. Decent, but tame fruit. Nose is lemon meringue pie. Oak is well integrated. I think it is in an ackward stage, and am hoping for some improvement with the next bottle in a year or two.
Popped and poured. Gorgeous deep dark golden apple color. Awesomely individualistic nose of funk, dark yellow apples, dark white peach, striking minerality and superb depth aromatically - really brings you into the wine with each sniff. Giving it a whirl I taste more earthy funk - some really appealing Old World qualities mixed with the ripe fruit of a New World Chardonnay - but without all the oak. The wine finished very clean and pure with a nice midpalate and flawless transition to a mineral and funk driven back end. Medium full bodied with over seeming fat or over the top. Spot on balance and precision as a whole. Jill said it was the best Chardonnay she'd ever tasted, and I agreed - it was utterly profound. Unlike any other bottling I've tasted. It aged with perfection and absolutely benefited from having eight years under its belt. Delish.
From memory, no TN. This did not show as well as my first bottle. Brought it to a tasting 80 miles from home. Wonder if the drive hadanything to do with it. Nose was nice honey and butterscotch; palate was nice too but a bit "thinner" than my first bottle.
Medium gold. Looks and smells like a dessert wine. Sweet, honeyed nose. Candied fruits. A little nutty due to some oxidation. Gentle smoky oak. Good balance. Medium to rich mouthfeel. Peak now so drink it up. Excellent.
Beautiful dark straw in color. Tart pears, pineapple and lime with an interesting minerality. Touch of oak but barely perceptible. Great complexity. Acidity kicks! Every drink cries out for the next. Will last for many more years.
Tied for WOTN at my 2002 chardonnay tasting (other candidate was the Kistler Cuvee Cathleen). Terrific fruit, excellent acidity and long finish. Drinking beautifully right now but bet it will continue to age gracefully.
Bright golden yellow in color. YES....a good bottle, not like the last of this, and a 2001. I've had my doubts on how these Leeuwin's were heading....but this bottle brings me back to why I adore these wines! Very bright, tropical fruit, fresh as ever.....loaded with crushed minerals(ala Burgundy), exotic wood spice, honey butter, grilled lemons. The only thing that distinguished it from Burgundy is a banana cream pie crust sweetness..... that just hints of another place. Something that if I were to taste blind...I would peg, LEEUWIN ESTATE! Drink it at room temp....and it really shines! So far.....this '02 has out shined the highly rated '01.
San Antonio Wine Geeks (The Home of Dave Lew): I wish I had this one prior to the Rhys. Pretty floral nose with fresh clean fruit. Palate is subtle, focused, and quite acidic even at this age, with crisp mineral and wet stone. Really grabs the palate on the finish. Little if any oak influence. More subtle than the Rhys and didn’t seem to quite have the depth and complexity, but still fantastic in a different style.
Laser crystalline pineapple. oak is still present on the nose. medium acid. picking up the richness of age. a decent in to lush white candy. oak still shows moderately on the palate 8 years in. these are beautifully made.
Drank this at Meridian in Indianapolis. Seems to have peaked. Deeper brown in the glass, smells almost "bad" like we waited to long. Expecting the smell to blow off we waited an hour and drank some more. No change. Lost most of it's brightness, acidity. Disappointing. One more bottle of this vintage left. Get to it soon.
Good, but a little disappointing. Young up front, but lacking a little structure of a good white burg. Lemon and surprising acidity on back pallette. Do not want to undersell, I think my expectations were to high. Expecting a leflaive chevalier montrachet.
Interesting to back track to this bottle since it has been a while since I have had any of the Art Series. Without thinking I would have said a very young wine -- '07 or '06. But the fruit not is quite strong and intense. Which I do like. It is a little less prestine than I remember -- more pear and ripe pear at that. The twist of it all is the acidity on the back of the palate. Not out of balance but strong enough that it pulls the flavors through and makes them linger. And linger a long time. But the flavors are not the fruit flavors I have come to expect. They are more walnut (?) cinnamon, secondary vanillla (if there is such a thing). Maybe not that harmonious throughout anymore -- the palate doesn't like so well with the nose. So maybe this is now a vintage to let go for a while until the intial fruit completely dries out and resovles into the body. Try again in a year?
All of that malarkey being said its still beautiful and great wine. Glad I have more.
The acid structure is so beautifully pure I had to put an addendum on this note.
WOW...last bottle I had was in Jan. of this year...95pts and going strong. This bottle tonight is oxidized! Not oxidized to point of putrid...but it covers up the beautiful tropical flavors you get in these wines. This bottle is more sherried, brown butter, dark honey. To be honest...not a bad wine...nice, in an aged style. But knowing what this wine has tasted like a half a dozen times.......it's a let down. Hope this is just "the off bottle"....and the remainder show well.
Crackingly good chardonnay. I rarely see the point on commenting on the colour of a wine but the appearance of this wine in the glass was as gobsmacking as the palate. Tremendous clarity with a luminous yellow glow that seemed to radiate from the glass. The bouquet was all cashew, nectarine and tropical fruit. The palate was generous, overflowing with fruit, with neither the MLF butteriness nor the oak overdone. It is still almost tight with acid with a hint of caramel tones emerging, and I think needs at least 3 more years in bottle to show its best.
My first of the 02's. Wonderful great acidity, and tropical fruits. I remember tasting it at the Leewin/Sunset Corners Ritz Carlton, Coconut Grove Tasting a few years ago, when it was released, and how the 100+ other attendees, thought it wanting vs the 98. They just didn't realize how beautifully this wine develops with age. I recently read where the 04 as a ringer at an Executive Wine Seminars Battle of Paris blew away all the other prized entrants.Still is my favorite chardonnay on the planet.
Possibly the best Chardonnay I've drunk. Soft gold in teh glass. Clear, bright. On the nose, subtle oak, apples, spice, lemon. On thje palate, up front bracing acidicity, in perfect balance with the fruit. Again, aplles, spice, ling finish. Taste changes and soften in the glass. An excellent food wine but excellent as an aperitif. California Chardonnay shouldbe more like this (although I think Trefethen is).
As others have noted, this wine is subtle and subdued, but it really came alive an hour after opening. I love this chardonnay with food, as it doesn't trounce the flavors of summer food dishes. I also find it is a better at a temperature that is bit warmer than you might typically use for chardonnay.
Still pretty clear with just a hint of yellow-green, the nose is creamy, oaky and has a malolactic fermentation odor. Fresh tart green apples, maybe some pear, carmel on the back end without a whole lot of oak taste (more in the nose at this point). Finish is good 45 seconds to a minute and there is perhaps just a bit of heat on the finish. Still overrated by Harvey Steiman, but a very good wine at this point. I cannot see any future aging improving this wine as the excellent acidity and length may get flabby in time. I would consume within 24 months.
My first experience with this benchmark Aussie white. First thing that jumps out is the vibrant golden color. Deep and dark, almost like aged Sauternes. Nearly as striking as the nose, which is presents beautiful cream but with loads of peach and tropical fruit. The latter dominates the palate, but its seasoned with --but not overwhelmed by-- beautiful wood spice. Finishes long. Powerful stuff. I don't generally love the oaky/malo school of Chardonnay, but this is a profound example of that style. Beautiful chardonnay that merits the $50 tariff as well as its stellar reputation. 92-93.
This bottle was from WineX while my previous bottles were from Bello Vino in Ann Arbor. Now I get what the other people were talking about. I am concerned my last Bello bottle will suck too (as did the prior two). Perhaps bad storage or shipping to Michigan, which we all know is a wine lovers paradise??? Anyhow, this wine actually drinks better a tad colder than warmer. Despite 5 years of age, this is straw yellow, almost sauvignon blanc-ish, not golden or orange hued. On the nose I get spice, malolactic fermentation residual and oak vanillan. Carmel , green apples, oak and allspice are apparent on the palate. Again, keep it on the cold side of serving temp to show its best. Not a mid 90 but a low 90 for sure. Michiganders, beware of Bello Vino. I see from other's notes that this wne was pretty dumb for most people through the first 10 months of this year. Perhaps it is emerging from sleep and I just drank my other two at the wrong time? I have two left to test that theory.
At first we thought this was corked but I think that it might have been some must or perhaps a nasty oak offtone. I am sick about spending $50 on this trash. What a waste of money. I cannot see what the critics saw in this crap. Maybe they smoke weed before they taste. Anyhow, behind that nasty oak/cork/undefined flavor-odor, was a nose of oak and vanilla. The flavors, again, behind the "flaw" was some sour apple, molasses, maybe lemon.
Tasted April 15, 2007 at an offline. No formal note. Light yellow to yellow color in the glass, clear hue throughout. Aromas and flavors of citrus fruits, cream and plenty of tropical fruit notes. Medium acidity and body. Drink over the short to medium term.
Not up to snuff. Not sure if this is the bottle variance or what. I was expecting more than a typical, overoaked, malolactic drenched California chardonnay. I could have bought this for $25 in a Cali char, no need to pay $50 to Australia. What a disappointment. Strong oak nose, maybe some allspice. Acidity is there and prevalent but there is also that malolactic roundness that can be somewhat bitter. Butterscotch, green apples. Just not nearly worth money, not nearly up to the WS rating. No surprise. Disappointing waste of $$$, absolutely terrible QPR. I hope my other four bottles are not this weak. If so, I will be disgusted and never buy Leeuwin again.
Rich and full of tropical fruit, pears, white honey butter, mineral tones, exotic wood spice, floral infused oil. Great sharp lemon/lime acidity, creamed up with the rich fruit, and balanced wood. Still room for plenty of age....but tasty now!
This is arguably my favorite "new world" Chardonnay year in and year out. This particular vintage may be the best yet. Color is medium gold, with a nice depth. Nose shows apple, quince, hint of pineapple, and spices...oak is noticed as well. On the palate there is a incredible concentration of apple and citrus flavors at the fore quickly followed by a nice sense of honey and spice. Oak is nicely incorporated, and the whole package is finished with a perfect amount of acidity. Truly a great Chardonnay.
Wow, this is as good as they say. Initial big fruit hit on the nose with some apricot and sweet pear coming through but this 'fades' to reveal a more mineral nose with some perfume and oak. The palate is similar with big sweet fruit including pear and melon to start, being overtaken by some structure, soft oak and long mineral finish. None of the obvious oak from the 2001and loads of great silky fruit which is all really well balanced.