September 8, 2007

Leeuwin Estate 'Art Series' Chardonnay 2004

Margaret River, 14.5%, screw cap, $95, 93-94 pts, Drink 2013-2016.

On this occasion I was not in the mood for reviewing. But I found the wine maker's tasting notes to be very accurate:

"The colour is bright straw with lime green hues. The fresh nose is classical Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay, with intensely lifted aromas of ripe yellow pear skins and ripe peach accompanied by hints of fig and cashews from barrel maturation on yeast lees with integrated French oak. These flavours combine into a finely balanced bouquet; the result of very low yielding vines matched with subtle winemaking to preserve the richness of the fruit. The palate displays the mouth filling and intense flavours of fresh ripe pears which is full and rich intermingling with delicious stone fruit flavours. The middle palate shows richness from both the fruit and the lees stirring. The length, always a feature of Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay, is long and full flavoured with a lingering fresh citrus finish. The new French oak complements the fruit providing a wonderful balance of warm toasty flavours on the finish".

I personally did not think too much of this wine, which has a reputation for being one of the best, if not The Best, Chardonnay in Australia, if not the World. I have found myself to enjoy Chardonnay in the past, and thought that this would be something interesting to try. It really disappointed. I gave the rating I did on the basis that I appreciated the quality of the wine, though I did not take a liking to this style. I am confident that with age, this wine is sure to mature into something much more rich, elegant, and complex. The wine is already showing a lot of complexity, but it is very subtle. It’s not a party in your mouth at this stage.

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