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Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from Margaret River, Australia
  • JH94
  • WS91
13.5% ABV
  • JH95
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • W&S90
  • JH94
  • WE93
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  • WS91
  • W&S90
  • JH94
  • WS90
  • JH92
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • JH94
  • WS90
  • JH94
  • RP90
  • JH94
  • JH94
  • RP90
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WS91
  • WS91
  • WS91
  • WS90
  • W&S92
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Cut limes, ripe nashi pears and white peaches greet the nose, amidst aromas of fresh nougat, honeycomb, brioche and rice wafers. Savory lemon rind, figs and quince create complexity, while oak derived toasted hazelnuts and cinnamon spice is diligently incorporated to enhance the balance. The palate is tight and defined, characterized by fresh lime, white nectarine and pears. Luscious texture delivers balanced depth and breadth to the palate. Oatmeal, nutmeg and subtle oak char lie in the background, with all components brought together with a taut and refreshing acid line.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 94
Australian Wine Companion
Light straw-green; it is a tribute to the quality of the Art Series Chardonnay that this should be Leeuwin's entry point wine; there is a perfect balance between the grapefruit spectrum and the white peach spectrum, oak a near-invisible net holding the parts together, the length exceptional.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Lively and inviting, with vibrant passion fruit and pineapple notes dancing against delicate spices. Finishes with intensity. Drink now through 2020.
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Leeuwin Estate

Leeuwin Estate

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Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, Australia
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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.

Margaret River

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Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. Complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are another regional specialty. Also common here are refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, as well as earthy, aromatic Bordeaux red blends.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

WBW30105304_2012 Item# 135925