Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2018


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This was the wine which took Australian Chardonnay from the dark ages of oak-embalmed curiosities or simple sunshine in the bottle to wines of supreme quality, able to sit comfortably with the great chardonnays of the world. For a time, it stood head and shoulders above anything else we could produce. These days, it has peers, from Margaret River and further afield, but it has never stumbled. It has remained as one of our absolute finest chardonnays to this day, and this latest release will only confirm that. Whether or not it is the very best chardonnay made in Australia is largely personal preference at this level, but there is no questioning that it is always a favourite. And a wine which always improves even further with time in the cellar. Fermentation in French oak and then a further 11 months in barrel. 

This release, obviously very young, explodes with stonefruit, nectarines, grilled nuts, peaches and a hint of vanillin oak, but it is well integrated and quite transparent. A note of honey emerges on the finish. 

The creamy, supple, seamless texture is a highlight and promises to become ever more thrilling in the coming years. It is already showing some early complexity and the flick of acidity carries it through to the extremely long finish, a finish which never drops in intensity.

A wine which confidently walks the tightrope between elegance and sheer power but at all times, as with everything to do with this wine, it is impeccably balanced. 2018 seems yet another truly brilliant vintage in the region – but it seems that it almost always is. This scintillating chardonnay will improve in the coming years (be in no hurry). A wine which deserves a score somewhere around the 98 to 100. I have gone 98, only because I have no doubt it is going to get even better.

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