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Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2002

Chardonnay from Margaret River, Australia
  • WS96
0% ABV
  • JH98
  • WS96
  • WW95
  • JH97
  • D96
  • JS95
  • JH98
  • WS96
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of 2005

"Long live the king, and there is no death here. This vintage shows yet again why this is the best chardonnay in Australia..."
-James Halliday, 97/100

"...one of Australia's most profound Chardonnays, is the 2002 Chardonnay Art Series..."
-Wine Advocate

"The 2002 Vintage of this stellar wine will earn the right to be classed amongst the very greatest of its kind..."
-2005 WINE OF THE YEAR - Jeremy Oliver's 2006

A wine of marvelous richness and unexpected subtlety, this has delicious pear, mineral, gooseberry and lime flavors in profusion, beautifully wrapped in a veil of spicy oak, persisting impressively on the long, long finish. The palate has length of flavor with flowing layers of fruit finishing strong and mouth filling. There is classical sweet malt on the finish with a perceptible flavor of subtle French oak lingering on. This is a very harmonious wine with good ageing potential. Drink now through 2020. 

Critical Acclaim

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WS 96
Wine Spectator
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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.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a temperate climate moderated by Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and even winter. Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant difference in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs—the iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and holds water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals; and the silty loess found in the Chehalem Mountains, somewhere in between the other two in texture, is fertile and well-draining but erodes easily, creating challenges for growers but necessitating careful vineyard management.

The celebrated Pinot Noir of the Willamette Valley typically offers supple red fruit, especially cranberry, without the powerful punch often packed by its California counterparts. Elegance is paramount here, and fruit flavors are balanced by forest floor, wild mushroom, and dried herbs—much more in line with Burgundian examples of the variety. Chardonnay too takes its inspiration from the French motherland, focusing on tart, crisp fruit and minerality, rarely relying upon heavy new oak. Pinot Gris here is fleshy and bright, and Riesling is dry, aromatic, and citrus-focused.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

JHAARTCHARD_2002 Item# 82834

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