Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2006
The nose shows the influence of the coolest growing season experienced in Margaret River with the usually dominate ripe stone fruit taking a backseat to the more refined grapefruit, granny smith apples and almonds.
The palate shows incredible restraint with a youthful freshness of grapefruit and citrus characteristics.
The wine is astonishingly focused across the palate with a lingering finish of citrus blossom, the wine evolves with... View More
Bright and youthful colour; a complex array of nectarine, grapefruit and spice, particularly cinnamon on the bouquet; the palate exhibits understated power, with grilled nuts supporting the very generous, yet refined, level of stone fruit and oak; the finish is staggeringly long, fine and complex.
Leeuwin’s Art Series Chardonnay is seemingly an annual candidate for Chardonnay of the Year. The light gold–colored 2006 Art Series Chardonnay spent 11 months in 100% new French oak. Currently the aromatics are slightly muted and the wine is tightly wound. It exhibits ample white and tropical fruit aromas, leading to an intensely concentrated, ripe, well-balanced Chardonnay that coats the mouth. This lengthy effort needs several years to blossom after which it will drink well for 10-15 years. I say this with confidence after a small vertical tasting going back to 1987 in which none of the wines showed the deleterious effects of age. Leeuwin Estate is one of the benchmark wineries of Western Australia. Both reds and whites exhibit cool climate character and European elegance.
Light gold. A complex, expressive bouquet evokes fresh pineapple, white peach, iodine, salty minerals and smoked meat. Pliant pit fruit and citrus flavors are complicated by notes of saffron and dusty minerals. The finish features strong licorice and bitter citrus pith qualities and hangs on with impressive tenacity. This deserves another four or five years of patience, at a minimum.
It's difficult to see past the full oak treatment of this wine and the initial hit of sulfur. Leave it for an hour or two in a decanter and the subtleties of the fruit begin to show, hinting at lilacs and something fresh and green to balance the broad, toasty richness. The flavors are long, and the wine needs several years in the cellar to feed on its oak. But Art Series has a track record of aging well, and this should be worth the wait.