2015 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $89)

SKU #1402877 96 points Decanter

 Potent primary fruit, perfume and poise are the hallmarks of this long-lived classic - though thanks to earlier picking, less new oak and no malolactic, it has become sleeker. The expressive 2015 shows layers of heady oak, rock melon, dried pear, peach, pineapple, nougat and buttered popcorn. A relentless push of grapefruit acidity leavens and provides backbone and drive. (SA)  (3/2019)

96 points James Halliday

 Generous of flavour and texture, imparted by Leeuwin's stamp of extended skin contact, an approach that demands impeccably ripe fruit. And so it is. White peach and nectarine notes are strung pitch perfect across scales of clotted cream oak and juicy acidity. Long and pliant. Each piece of the jigsaw is in perfect synchronicity. A pedigreed wine boasting an impressive track record. I have had older vintages reminiscent of top Meursault.  (8/2018)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 This vintage weaves its way through aromas of lemon verbena, grapefruit rind, sea spray and cashew that move to a palate that is precise and textural. Flavors of citrus, nuts and seashell radiate, boosted by crackling acidity and an endlessly long, lemony finish. *Editor's Choice* (CP)  (3/2019)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Supple and creamy up front, with precision to the nutmeg, lemon curd, verbena and mandarin orange flavors, which are intense and harmonious. The elegant body and lingering accents of ginger and citrus zest elevate this white to something special. *Ranked #38 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2018* (MW)  (11/2018)

94 points James Suckling

 This beast from the west is in great shape in 2015. It delivers that heady mix of rich and powerful peaches and citrus on the nose, which are framed in nicely integrated oak. The palate has a luscious, full texture, delivering a punchy array of powerful citrus and stone fruit.  (12/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 Creamy and malty on the nose and palate with classic baked-apple fruit. Less showy than many of its Australian stablemates, and risks being lost among the more extrovert examples, but there is so much quality of fruit here, and it deserves your full attention. 17.5/20 points. (RH)  (5/2018)


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By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/12/2019 | Send Email
Clean, Seashell minerality, classic nectarine, orange rind and ginger are abundant and clear in this always wonderful bottling out of Western Australia. Delightful now, but also eminently ageable with blossoming acidity and wonderfully integrated oak, the Art Series is one of the worlds favorite Southern Chardonnays for a reason.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/9/2019 | Send Email
One of the most acclaimed Australian Chardonnays is back with a new vintage and, dare I say, it may be even better than last year's. Full of mineral-drive, thanks to no malolactic fermentation, this wine stands up to great Burgundies in ageability and precision. The classic hallmark flavors of orchard fruit, mandarin, and white flowers are all present, accompanied by a lush undertone of oak. The palate is clean and sharp with a long finish, indicating this will definitely hold up with cellar aging. Robert Mondavi certainly knew what he was doing when he declared this site in Margaret River perfect for Chardonnay in the 1970s, as evident by this undeniably good wine.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.
Sub-Region:

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River

Alcohol Content (%): 14