Margaret River, WA
Penetration and drive with incredible shape and frame on the palate. The symmetry of layers, contours and overall balance is precise.
Immaculate, powerful, intense nose with purity and clarity of primary fruit characterised by pear, white peach, lime curd and custard apple. There are infinite layers of brioche, grilled hazelnuts, cinnamon quill, shaved nutmeg, black cardamom and almond meal. A thread of graphite in the background adds elegant complexity.
Penetration and drive with incredible shape and frame on the palate. The symmetry of layers, contours and overall balance is precise. Pear, cut lime and nectarine are definite throughout. Sweet spice and elegant oak use sit neatly with the fruit, underlined by a delicate acid line, leading to a palate with effortless length.
"Let's put it this way. This is the closest I have come to awarding a wine 100 points...Stellar wine from a stellar vintage. The remarkable this is that this is a wine 100 percent barrel fermented in new French oak barriques with regular lees stirring for 11 months - and it certainly doesn't taste excessive, or even slightly oak. It has such high-fidelity purity with complex seductive aromatics of vanilla bean and light oatmeal with a cutting minerality and spicy lift. But the palate, oh the palate. This is where things start to explode. Power, poise and persistence with a dry savouriness balancing the intense ripe fruit. It is such a long finish with an ever so slightly, charry finish completing a remarkable wine".
Ray Jordan, The West Australian, 27 February 2021
"Very light colour, remarkable for a 4-year-old wine. The bouquet is complex and yet very fresh and restrained, showing captivating nougat aromas which lead into a concentrated, powerful yet elegant palate. Absolutely delicious array of flavours. Lemon drops, honey and myriad other aromas and flavours. Tremendous power and persistence. A sensational chardonnay.”
Huon Hooke, The Real Review, 27 February 2021
“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.”
Ken Gargett, WinePilot.com, March 2021
"From an excellent vintage - warm, with very few hot days - this muscular yet lithe Chardonnay suffuses the senses with Leeuwin Estate's clear and penetrating signature perfume of granular pear and fleshier fresh fig. Harmonious lemony acidity makes for an ultra-long, seamless finish, through a palate of acacia, lanolin, smoke and créme patisserie. The concentrated fruit effortlessly mops up the 100% new oak. A luminous, graceful and balanced powerhouse."
The Icon, 97 points
Sarah Ahmed, Decanter Premium, March 2021
“25 reviews of Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay (prior to this one) and the lowest we’ve ever rated it is 93/100. Amazing really. The first thing I noticed here was the intensity. The fruit intensity. It’s a striking wine, explosive in a refined way, elegant and textural at once, persistent. Its presnece and power can be admired and enjoyed now but wow does this have a future, and a long one. White peach, citrus, pear, sweet cedar and almonds. The whole is more than its parts. It’s beautiful, pure, exemplary.”
Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, February 2021