2012 Leeuwin "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $90)

SKU #1228220 98 points James Halliday

 A very youthful bright green-quartz colour sets the scene for a riveting wine of exquisite purity and finesse. It almost floats in the mouth, so effortless is its invocation of all things Chardonnay: white flowers, white stone fruits and immaculately balanced acidity. Oak? Well, yes it's there, but rendered mute by the fruit. Has greater staying power than any other Australian Chardonnay.  (9/2015)

96 points Decanter

 Great to see Margaret River’s most recognized Chardonnay in such good form. This has all the power one associates with Leeuwin – with the 100% new oak being totally absorbed by the fruit – while the palate is textured, balanced and extremely long.

95 points James Suckling

 A wine with amazing richness and depth. So much apple pie character yet minerally underneath. Full body, so much length. Gorgeous.  (2/2016)

94 points Vinous

 Light, bright yellow. Musky pear skin and honeydew on the nose, with jasmine, ginger, vanilla and smoky mineral nuances adding complexity. Juicy, seamless and sharply focused, offering concentrated citrus and orchard fruit flavors that flesh out and become spicier with aeration. The mineral and floral qualities come back strong on the strikingly persistent, seamless finish. There's no way I'd have guessed that this wine was aged in all new oak. (JR)  (3/2016)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 Leeuwin’s Chardonnay continues to be a standard-bearer for Margaret River and all of Australia. The 2012 Art Series is subtly toasty on the nose, blossoming with time into full-on crème brûlée aromas, while the palate offers creamy-textured notions of tropical fruit and custard. The long finish reverberates with fruit, suggesting plenty of aging potential, up to 10 or 12 years. (JC)  (6/2016)

94 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 of 2015* Amazingly focused, layered and expressive, with pear, lime, guava and floral flavors that meld harmoniously and linger on the creamy finish. Deftly pulls all the elements together into a cohesive whole, lingering effectively and precisely. Drink now through 2022. (HS)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Chardonnay Art Series shows evolving toast and marzipan notes over a core of ripe apricots, candied ginger and butterscotch. Medium to full-bodied in the mouth with a satiny texture, the palate possesses a wonderful concentration of stone fruit and spice flavors with plenty of racy freshness and a good long finish. 92+ (LPB)  (3/2016)

K&L Notes

94+ points Wine Front: "Hazelnut, pear, melon, toast and clove-spiced wood. Full bodied, toasty savoury wood plays a leading role in the flavour profile, though of course there’s the typical Leeuwin fruit power to go with it. Pear and lime in the mix, silky honeyed texture, then a little crunch of tannin on the finish. Great length. Has complexity already as a young wine, but really needs a few years to settle down and mesh, at which point it will almost certainly rate a little higher." Winemaker's notes: "Concentrated, perfumed and youthful, the nose exhibits fresh pears and white nectarines with an underlying floral lift of lemon blossom. Subtle notes of pistachio, cinnamon quill, blanched almonds and rice wafer lie beneath. Powerful, yet very fine, the palate has tension with a thread of minerality. Limes, pear skin and lemon sorbet lead to a finely textured mid-palate, with layering and subtle oak integration. The purity and clarity of the fruit is the feature throughout."

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By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/13/2016 | Send Email
An expressive, oak influence filled nose translates to a rich, balanced and pure expression of Australian Chardonnay. I love the absence of an buttery texture, just enough oak and just enough fruit. I think the fruit of this grape should always take the main stage.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/13/2016 | Send Email
Leeuwin's special piece of land on the remote south west coast of Australia will be forever connected with California. Napa Valley pioneer Robert Mondavi hand-selected this piece of land for its potential to produce world class wines of power and precision back in the 1970's...he was right, again. Despite making phenomenal Cabernet at Leeuwin their "icon" has to be their Art Series Chardonnay. I would suggest that it is the most revered Chardonnay of the southern hemisphere. Its annual release is followed by wine collectors all over the world and stands tall amongst even the most highly rated white Burgundies. This is a phenomenally complex, focused and powerful wine with longevity and pedigree. If you are serious about Chardonnay this must be in your collection.
Drink from 2016 to 2026

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 wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley 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 and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. 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. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River

Alcohol Content (%): 14