Wine writer Ray Jordan has pronounced Leeuwin Estate’s 2016 Art Series Chardonnay as “Australia’s greatest white wine”.
Jordan writes at The West Australian: “It’s a game changer. And it’s given me a problem. You see, I gave the 2015 chardonnay 99 points, my highest score for an Australian white wine on release.
“But the problem now is that the 2016 is a better wine. I don’t believe any wine has achieved perfection, but this one pushes it mighty close. So all I can do is give it 99-plus.”
Jordan’s review of the Chardonnay noted that it was “a marvellous wine”.
“There is such gorgeous texture and middle palate complexity here, with precise delivery through to a very long finish,” he said. “Spices with floral notes, a touch savoury and understated mealiness that is part of this wine’s DNA. What a fitting wine to mark the 50th anniversary of Leeuwin Estate.”
Of course, perfection comes at a price, with a bottle of the wine costing $104.
The Margaret River winery only selects its most “opulent and age worthy” wines from each vintage for its “Art Series” range.
Leeuwin winemaker Tim Lovett described the vintage as “remarkable and spectacular”.
Margaret River chardonnays centuries ahead of their time
In 2017, Max Allen noted in the Australian Financial Review that chardonnay vines were only planted in Western Australia’s Margaret River in the mid-1970s “and yet the grape hit the ground running in this beautiful stretch of coastal country”.
“The first vintage of Leeuwin Estate’s Art Series chardonnay, the 1980, made from vines barely three years old, beat all other entries in an international chardonnay tasting held by Decanter magazine in the UK a couple of years later.
“It usually takes decades – centuries even – for such combinations of grape and place to establish themselves as classics.”