2012 Leeuwin "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $90)
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.
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.
A wine with amazing richness and depth. So much apple pie character yet minerally underneath. Full body, so much length. Gorgeous.
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)
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)
*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)
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)
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."