Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2017
- Rich, full
- Margaret River
Honestly, what more needs to be said about this wine? Renowned critic Ray Jordan (and many others) consider it Australia’s greatest white wine. It’s the benchmark all others are judged against. It’s the Michael Jordan of Aussie chardonnay. Critics rave and collectors chase. It simply has everything - power, finesse, concentration, precision, energy, complex fruit, aromatics, age-worthiness. We look at thousands of wines each year at the ‘fo when curating our range, and this is always the one we look forward to tasting the most. Okay, enough gushing...here’s the bottom line: If you want to taste the absolute pinnacle of Aussie chardonnay, we’ve got it right here (but we don’t have a lot). Get into it!
“This achieves another step up the quality ladder for Leeuwin Estate, seemingly impossible. There’s been no change in the vinification, nor in the vineyard. The change is an increase in the intensity of the flavours, and hence their length and aftertaste. It’s an extraordinary wine, among the greatest of Burgundy (and elsewhere in the world). Whatever you expect from its future development will be delivered.” – James Halliday
“Sometimes you just have to lean back and marvel. The art of Margaret River chardonnay. This is it. You don’t just drink a wine like this, you set it in your mind as a benchmark. It’s a wine built on power, texture and length, centre-half forward, centre-half back and ruck, with acidity roving through and fragrance cheering loud. That seduction up front, that pure fresh peach, that huge energetic push through the back half. Blimey Charlie the crushed fennel characters here are full on. It’s the frisky side of luxury. It’s damn good.”
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Margaret River
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Chardonnay
- Serving Temp.
From the producer
Cool destemmed fruit with some skin contact. The juice was settled for 3 days, racked and inoculated with yeast. 100% of the juice was barrel fermented in new French oak barriques and the lees stirred regularly. After 11 months in barrels the various components were blended, fined, cold stabilized and bottled.
Winter of 2016 was characteristically wet, with August experiencing a recent rainfall record with 228 mm - resulting in a significantly higher than average annual rainfall total. Chardonnay was the first variety to burst in late August, followed by the Riesling and Cabernet through September. Spring was generally milder and experienced slightly more rainfall than average. Flowering in all varieties was delayed 10 days as compared to 2016, with this period generally sunny, resulting in excellent set across most varieties. Summer was mild with few hot days, and veraison occurred 3 weeks later than in 2016. Harvest commenced in the Riesling in the last week of February, followed by Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the first weeks of March. A later than usual, but nonetheless excellent vintage.
The purity on the nose is unmistakable; defined by a fruit spectrum of Japanese pear, Tahitian lime and Meyer lemon. Floral notes combine with subtle spice, highlighted by frangipani, chamomile, cinnamon and cardamom. Delicate notes of cashew, almonds, sesame and graphite are threaded in the background. A clear expression of primary fruit unfolds into a delicate, contoured and layered mid-palate, neatly laced with a fine acid structure. Again, the hallmark fruits of pear and lime are present, with secondary notes of oyster shell, lightly toasted almonds and nutmeg. Presence, poise and enviable length combine in symmetry, creating an articulating line and dimension.
Margaret River is as elusive as it is beautiful, such that you really need to visit to truly grasp its haunting beauty. Über-premium Cabernet, Chardonnay and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends grow here. 'Margies' only produces 3% of the country's grapes, but commands over 20% of its premium wine market, and hasn't had an off vintage since 2006. You start to realise how often this region is overlooked when you can list brands like Leeuwin, Cape Mentelle, Vasse Felix, and Voyager, not to mention Cullen, Pierro, Moss Wood, and Deep Woods. It's safe to say that it's time for a revisit.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
The Best Christmas Turkey
- Serves 6, with leftovers
- Prepare: 20 minutes, plus brining
- Cook: 3–4 hours (40mins/kg), plus resting
- 4–4.5kg free-range turkey
- 800g salt
- 200g unsalted butter, at
- room temperature
- 3 onions, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 3 leeks, sliced (white and pale
- green parts only)
- 50ml dry white wine
- 15g rosemary
- 15g thyme
- Chop the wing tips off the turkey and reserve for the gravy.
- Brine the turkey on Christmas Eve by mixing the salt and 10 litres of water in a clean container and stirring until the salt has dissolved. Submerge the turkey in the brine, cover with a lid or foil and leave in a cool place for at least nine hours or overnight.
- Remove the bird from the brine and submerge it in cold water for one hour, changing the water at 15-minute intervals. Dry the turkey well with kitchen paper.
- Preheat the oven to 210c, fan oven 200c, gas mark 6. With clean hands, work the skin away from the flesh of the bird and rub 100g of butter between the skin and the flesh, being careful not to tear the skin. Rub any remaining butter over the skin of the bird. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Set the bird on top of the onions, carrots and leeks in a roasting tin; add the wine and cook in the oven for 30 minutes to colour the skin.
- Melt the remaining 100g butter in a pan and add the rosemary and thyme.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 130c, fan oven 120c, gas mark ½. Baste the turkey with the herb butter and cook until the thickest part around the neck or thigh reaches 70c (you’ll need a probe thermometer). Continue basting every 45 minutes (when the butter gets used up, use the cooking juices in the roasting tin to baste). This should take three to three-and-a-half hours, depending on the size of the turkey and the type of oven.
- It is important to check that the turkey is cooked by cutting into the thickest part (between the breast and thigh) to be sure that none of the meat is pink, and the juices run clear.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. Reserve the pan juices and vegetables for making the gravy.