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Professional Ratings: 96 Australian Wine Companion, 94 Wine Spectator, 94 International Wine Cellar, 93 The Wine Advocate, 91 Wine & Spirits
Region: Margaret River, Australia
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%
Item no. 91585
The complex nose is typical Leeuwin, with lifted aromas of dried pear and ripe peach accompanied by hints of cashews and integrated French oak. This finely balanced bouquet is the result of low-yielding vines, premium quality oak and gentle winemaking techniques to preserve the richness of the fruit.
Intense flavors of dried pears and citrus are evident on the palate, with richness from regular lees stirring during maturation. New French oak is in perfect harmony with the powerful fruit, adding complexity and structure wihtout overpowering the delicate subtleties. The finish, always a feature of Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay, is long and full-flavored.
The fruit literally sings, appropriate given Leeuwin's annual concerts; white peach, nectarine and grapefruit are the sopranos, barrel ferment and mlf the orchestra behind, the result seamless but synergistic.
Smooth, round and polished, balanced with lively acidity. A generous mouthful of gooseberry-accented apple and cream flavors, beautifully integrated and long on the finish. Has integrity and depth. Should develop well with bottle age. Drink now through 2016.
Light gold. Intensely mineral aromas of iodine-accented peach, melon, anise, marzipan and nougat. Lush, expansive and powerful stone fruit and melon flavors really stain the palate, picking up licorice and citrus pith notes on the back. This is more linear and taut than a bottle of the superb 2002 showed recently, and has the balance to reward at least six years of cellaring. It seems to have more energy, too. As usual, one of the best Australian chardonnays of the year.
The 2004 Chardonnay "Art Series" was aged for 18 months in 100% new oak with no malolactic fermentation. It offers a classic Puligny aromatic profile of mineral, butterscotch, white peach, spiced apple, and poached pear. This leads to a streamlined Chardonnay with its oak totally integrated, ripe, elegant flavors, outstanding depth and concentration, and a long, pure finish. It will evolve for 2-3 years and drink well for up to a decade as a recent taste of the 1987 (92 points) demonstrates. Leeuwin Estate is one of the benchmark wineries of Western Australia. Both reds and whites exhibit cool climate character and European elegance.
There’s substantial fruit concentration in this citrus-scented chardonnay, along with some tannins from oak age. It has a firm, sandy feel with flavors of pine nuts and lemon curd. This vintage of Art Series will mature over ten years or more.
For many years now, the Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnays have rated among the very best of Australian offerings and are highly regarded on the world stage as well. So, when it turned out that we liked this wine but did not worship at its very feet, we were a little bit surprised. To be sure, it has solid fruit and convincing potential for further development in the bottle, but its range is not as grand as other vintages. It was tasted both here and there with very similar notes, and we also were able to taste a vertical of Art Series Chardonnays at the winery and came away greatly impressed. Indeed, the entire visit to Leeuwin was impressive with big scores going to the Art Series Cabernet and to the Art Series Shiraz. In fact, we gave higher points in those tastings to the 2003 and 2005 Art Series Chards than to this one. We apologize for seeming to damn with faint praise because this bottling is a very good wine in its own right.