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Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2006

Chardonnay from Margaret River, Australia
  • JH97
  • RP94
  • W&S91
  • JH98
  • WS96
  • WW95
  • JH97
  • D96
  • JS95
  • JH98
  • WS96
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

The colour is brilliant and youthful green straw.

The nose shows the influence of the coolest growing season experienced in Margaret River with the usually dominate ripe stone fruit taking a backseat to the more refined grapefruit, granny smith apples and almonds.

The palate shows incredible restraint with a youthful freshness of grapefruit and citrus characteristics.

The wine is astonishingly focused across the palate with a lingering finish of citrus blossom, the wine evolves with a fine line of acid to help provide the remarkable length of flavour that persists in the mouth minutes after drinking.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 97
Australian Wine Companion

Bright and youthful colour; a complex array of nectarine, grapefruit and spice, particularly cinnamon on the bouquet; the palate exhibits understated power, with grilled nuts supporting the very generous, yet refined, level of stone fruit and oak; the finish is staggeringly long, fine and complex.

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

Leeuwin’s Art Series Chardonnay is seemingly an annual candidate for Chardonnay of the Year. The light gold–colored 2006 Art Series Chardonnay spent 11 months in 100% new French oak. Currently the aromatics are slightly muted and the wine is tightly wound. It exhibits ample white and tropical fruit aromas, leading to an intensely concentrated, ripe, well-balanced Chardonnay that coats the mouth. This lengthy effort needs several years to blossom after which it will drink well for 10-15 years. I say this with confidence after a small vertical tasting going back to 1987 in which none of the wines showed the deleterious effects of age. Leeuwin Estate is one of the benchmark wineries of Western Australia. Both reds and whites exhibit cool climate character and European elegance.

W&S 91
Wine & Spirits

It's difficult to see past the full oak treatment of this wine and the initial hit of sulfur. Leave it for an hour or two in a decanter and the subtleties of the fruit begin to show, hinting at lilacs and something fresh and green to balance the broad, toasty richness. The flavors are long, and the wine needs several years in the cellar to feed on its oak. But Art Series has a track record of aging well, and this should be worth the wait.

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Leeuwin Estate

Leeuwin Estate

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Leeuwin Estate, , Australia
Leeuwin Estate
Leeuwin Estate, one of the founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district of Western Australia was established in 1973 with its mission statement to: "Produce wines that rank with the best in the world through the pursuit of excellence".

In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, first identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine and provided early mentorship to owners, Denis and Tricia Horgan in the establishment of Leeuwin Estate. The first vines were planted by hand over a five year period from 1973.

Featuring state-of-the art facilities, the winery building was opened in 1978, celebrating with a trial vintage. Leeuwin enjoyed its first commercial vintage in 1979, and was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1980 "Art Series" Chardonnay in an international blind tasting.

Maintaining a team of highly skilled and dedicated winemakers, Leeuwin Estate is now under the direction of two generations of the founding family.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

ULL573593_06_2006 Item# 99714

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