The Real Review 98Halliday 97The Wine Front 97Wine Advocate 97
Margaret River

2021 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay

$158.99
$1,907.88 for 12 bottles
The Collective Review

This wine needs no introduction. It is a hero in its own right.

Easily Australia's most famous Chardonnay, this Margaret River white now has approaching more than 30 vintages of greatness. A lion of the West, and what one might even say is the most collected and feted white wine in the entire country.

2021 sees a standout vintage for Chardonnay in the Margaret River, and that usually means for a formidable Art Series release. This year is no exception to the rule. Chamomile, lemon myrtle, ginger snap cookies, white almond and nutmeg all blossom from the glass. An extraordinarily evocative scent that is so distinctly the Leeuwin style. The critics have already heaped effusive praise, with Huon Hooke notching up a 98-point score, to sit alongside three lots of 97-point reviews from Gary Walsh, Erin Larkin and Halliday's Wine Companion.

Given that equivalent Burgundy - like Bonneau Du Martray Corton Charlemagne - now retail for $650/bottle, the asking price for this is absurd.

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Light straw colour with a reserved lemon/grapefruit aroma, fresh and penetrating, the palate brisk and bright with vibrant acidity and intense grapefruit/lemon flavours that persist the full length of the very long palate. Superb vitality and balance. It promises to reward cellaring too. Tremendously concentrated and compact, with extreme drive and massive persistence, it positively vibrates with energy. Very cellar worthy, too. Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
98 POINTS
Huon Hooke - The Real Review

Light straw colour with a reserved lemon/grapefruit aroma, fresh and penetrating, the palate brisk and bright with vibrant acidity and intense grapefruit/lemon flavours that persist the full length of the very long palate. Superb vitality and balance. It promises to reward cellaring too. Tremendously concentrated and compact, with extreme drive and massive persistence, it positively vibrates with energy. Very cellar worthy, too.

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Jane Faulkner - Halliday's Wine Companion

There’s always an anticipation when a new vintage arrives. This doesn’t disappoint – it’s archetypal Art Series: powerful, rich and layered with flavour from stone fruit, pink grapefruit and Meyer lemon to a touch of mandarin. The palate builds with creamy lees, oak spice and some phenolics – the oak is superbly integrated, and pure acidity leads this to a persistent finish. Impressive as always.

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Gary Walsh - The Wine Front

Pear, lime, grapefruit, floral too, with a distinct mint/aniseed top note, backed with discreet spicy cinnamon/ginger oak. It’s fresh and lively, quite saline too, flinty and chalky, a honey ginger drink character in the mix, along with a cucumber coolness and biscuit spices, a whole lot of presence and power here, delivered in a kind of understated, but confident way. The finish is very long, and refreshing. Gee, this is good wine. It ripples through the mouth like a flat white stone pitched across a cool lake. That’s an image for you, and I’ll leave you with that.

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Erin Larkin - Wine Advocate

The 2021 Art Series Chardonnay leads with a distinctly floral nose: jasmine and white garden rose, wisteria and lemon blossom. The season was a challenging one in Margaret River, defined by the rainfall, which was constant. The temperatures were modest (not cool, as plenty of rain might suggest),and given that the region is so diverse in terms of distances between vineyard areas, this created quite a patchwork of outcomes for producers. On the palate, the wine is powerful and savory—it leans heavily on exotic dry spice and cracked honeycomb, with hints of salted butter on fresh white bread, beeswax and salted pink grapefruit. Stylistically, it is not dissimilar to the 2017; however, the dovetailing of acid and fruit feels seamless and well matched here. The wine is piercing and structural, tightly coiled and almost rigid, in the best of ways. It's an impressive wine, one that, at this stage of its life, is defined by its penetrating acid line. Sealed under screw cap. 97+ points.

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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

Elevated, fragrant and perfumed, the nose is defined by chamomile, lemon myrtle, cherry blossom and ginger. A core and concentrated fruit spectrum of pear, lemon flesh and white nectarine provide the foundation. There is a graphite, flint, and chalk thread, combining with nutmeg and almond meal. Energetic and well poised, an array of fresh lime and nashi pear is laced throughout. The palate is ethereal, mineral and defined with a presence of natural acidity. There is an enticing element of saline, wet stone and phyllitic characteristic that weaves within. The shape and frame on the palate is present and focussed with effortless length.

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Winemakers Note

2021’s mild summer vintage produced wines showcasing excellent varietal definition with incredible length and clarity. Chardonnay is a stand out variety with fabulous natural acid and fruit weight. 

Cool destemmed fruit was held on skins combined with components of whole bunch pressed parcels. The juice was settled for 12-36 hours, racked and inoculated with yeast. 100% of the juice was barrel fermented in new French oak barriques, with the lees stirred regularly. After 11 months in barrels, the various components were blended, fined, cold stabilized and bottled.  

Label artwork by Jo Davenport, entitled “When Skies are Blue”.

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Delivery Details

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