LEEUWIN Chardonnay Prelude Vineyards 2016

  • 13.5% abv 750ml
  • Country: Australia > Margaret River
    Winery: LEEUWIN
    Grape Varietal: Chardonnay


    Wine Spectator 90, Wine Enthusiast 92, James Suckling 90, Wine Searcher Average rating 91

    Out of stock

    SKU: AUV04875 Categories: , , , , , Tag:


    At Leeuwin Estate, I was treated to abbreviated verticals of Art Series Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The Riesling style hasn’t evolved that much over the years, as the wine has always been fermented cool in stainless steel and inoculated with cultured yeasts. It can age well for a decade or more. I opened a 2001 in November 2019 (under cork), and while fully mature, it was still impressive. The Art Series Chardonnay, first released in 1980, has always been based on the Gingin clone, first planted on the property in 1975. Malolactic is normally blocked to preserve acidity. Over the years, the proportion of wild ferment has crept up, as has the amount of solids allowed in the ferment. Both of these trends have helped bring more complexity and texture into the wines and dialed back the nearly over-the-top fruit that early versions displayed upon release. I do wonder if the newer versions will age as long and elegantly as, for example, the stunning bottle of 1987 reviewed here. As readers are unlikely to cellar them for 30 years, perhaps that’s a moot point. They’re certainly more complex and complete when young. The Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be solid here, while the Shiraz, drawn from the winery’s Peppy Park Vineyard 20 kilometers to the south, continues to improve (those vines were planted in 1998–1999). Like many of the top properties in Margaret River, the cellar-door restaurant is one of the better dining options in the region. Real ballers flying down from Perth can take advantage of the estate’s private airstrip.

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