2008 Leeuwin "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia

SKU #1088683 96 points James Halliday

 Still pale quartz-green; the finesse of Art Series Chardonnay when it is young is every bit as enjoyable as is the complexity it gains after six or seven years in bottle (under screwcap), its future still assured.

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 100% of the 2008 Art Series Chardonnay juice was barrel fermented in new French barriques with the lees stirred every two to three weeks over the 11 months. The nose is typically ripe and expressive, displaying pronounced notes of guava, ripe apricot and cantaloupe over toasted cashews, brioche, cedar and manuka honey. The palate is as rich and concentrated as it ever is, yet it’s not quite as weighty as it has been in some recent vintages and is showing more elegance this year. Medium-full bodied, it has a lovely creaminess to the texture, refreshingly crisp acid and a very long finish. Delicious now, it should cellar to 2021+.  (8/ 2011)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light, bright yellow. Fresh citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by white flowers, iodine, toasty lees and butter. Smoky, penetrating orange and pear flavors are complemented by deeper suggestions of honey and sweet butter, with a firm mineral element adding spine. Finishes with very good breadth and length, the smoke and iodine notes repeating. This wine has a great track record for aging, as a recent bottle of 2001 showed; it was spicy, intensely floral and deep in orchard fruit flavors, with only a hint of the nuttiness that I expect in decade-old chardonnay. It has years of life ahead of it.(93+?)  (8/ 2011)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Silky, round and deftly balanced to play its pear, apricot, grapefruit and nutmeg flavors against a refined structure, casting it all into the long, enticing finish, which sails on impressively. Remarkable for its deftness, not its obvious power. Drink now through 2020. 500 cases imported.  (7/ 2011)

17 points Jancis Robinson

 17.5/20. Elegant purity. Plenty of citrus and melon fresh fruit and the oak finely integrated. No malolactic and 100% of the wine spent 11 months in new oak. Combines purity of fruit with a delicate creaminess and makes me think of an Australian take on Puligny-Montrachet - with a price to match. Very moreish too. (JH

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By: John Majeski |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 4/30/2012  | Send Email
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The 2008 Leeuwin "Art Series" Chardonnay, selected from very low yields, reveals, at this stage in its life, harmonious poise and restraint, a balancing act between superb depth, precision and finesse. The fruit from the estate's famed Blocks 20 and 22 were harvested during one of the coolest growing seasons in recent years, a factor that contributes to the brilliant definition, elegance and crisp, textural richness of this famed Chardonnay. Barrel fermentation in 100% new French oak and frequent stirring of the lees for almost one year have added a light toast and a delicate creamy note to the complex mélange of almonds, fruit and spices arrayed upon the palate—white peach, pear, nectarine, melon, grapefruit, musk, enhanced by an enticing minerality on the lovely, lengthy finish. A magnanimous, deeply-polished wine for anyone who appreciates the complete embodiment of a great Chardonnay, be it from Montrachet, Napa Valley or Margaret River.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River