Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2006
Chardonnay from Margaret River, Australia
Color is straw green, bright and almost luminous. This wine displays lifted pristine Margaret River Chardonnay fruit typical of the Leeuwin vineyard. The well integrated bouquet has ripe pear skin, figs, and nutty cashews. The subtle integration of French oak provides vanilla notes to this perfumed Chardonnay. Medium in weight, due to the cool ripening period the wine displays deceptive length and mouth filling structure.
The palate shows fresh and vibrant pears, tangy grapefruit and peaches, with the balanced citrus acid giving the wine a delicious elegance and youthfulness. An excellent vintage for Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay, this wine will lend itself to cellaring for a number of years.
The Wine AdvocateThe 2006 Chardonnay Prelude Vineyard was barrel-fermented and aged in one-third new French oak. Medium straw-colored, it offers up an alluring bouquet of buttered toast, spiced apple, and tropical notes. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, it has superior depth, ripe flavors of pineapple and mango, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. Drink it over the next four years.
International Wine CellarLight gold. Fresh lime and grapefruit aromas are deepened by smoky lees, butter and hazelnut. Firm and sharply focused, offering a vivacious set of citrus flavors along with green apple and chamomile (this did not go through malo). Finishes with very good grip and persistence. I'd decant this if I were opening it anytime soon as it gained weight and flesh in the open bottle.
Leeuwin Estate Winery
After an extensive search in 1972 to identify the most suitable Australian area for the production of premium varietal wines, Robert Mondavi singled out a small plot of land in the Margaret River region. At the time a cattle farm, Leeuwin Esate evolved under the direction of owners Denis and Tricia Horgan, with Mondavi acting as a consultant and mentor. The initial vineyards were planted by hand over a five year period from 1975, with the state-of-the-art winery opened in 1978. In 1979, Leeuwin Estate had their first commercial vintage. Today, Leeuwin Estate maintains a team of highly-skilled and dedicated winemakers, under the direction of two generations of the founding family, exporting to over 30 countries. View all Leeuwin Estate WinesLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.