2020 Leeuwin Estate, Art Series Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia

2020 Leeuwin Estate, Art Series Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia

Product: 20201003611
Prices start from £87.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2020 Leeuwin Estate, Art Series Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia

Buying options

Available for delivery or collection. Pricing includes duty and VAT.

Description

The 2020 vintage in Margaret River was moderate to warm and will be forever remembered for the incredibly compacted harvest period, which started two weeks earlier than the 2019 harvest before it and was all wrapped up by Easter—that's largely unheard of. 

The 2020 Art Series Chardonnay leads with power and density, not unlike the 2018 before it. Tight and green in the glass, you get salted pear, white peach, nectarine, red apple skins, preserved citrus and crushed shell. The wine has minerality and tension within the confines of the opulent fruit. Staggering length, as usual. 

The winemaking remains relatively consistent across the years: hand-picked fruit from Block 20 and 22 (planted in 1976 and 1978, respectively). Thirty per cent of the cuvée was a whole bunch pressed to 100% new Burgundian oak, while the balance was destemmed, crushed and pressed to 100% new Bordelais oak. 

Sulfured post-ferment to discourage malolactic fermentation, both components remain in barrel for 11 months. Super wine.

Drink 2022 - 2047

Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate (June 2023)

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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate98/100

The 2020 vintage in Margaret River was moderate to warm and will be forever remembered for the incredibly compacted harvest period, which started two weeks earlier than the 2019 harvest before it and was all wrapped up by Easter—that's largely unheard of. 

The 2020 Art Series Chardonnay leads with power and density, not unlike the 2018 before it. Tight and green in the glass, you get salted pear, white peach, nectarine, red apple skins, preserved citrus and crushed shell. The wine has minerality and tension within the confines of the opulent fruit. Staggering length, as usual. 

The winemaking remains relatively consistent across the years: hand-picked fruit from Block 20 and 22 (planted in 1976 and 1978, respectively). Thirty per cent of the cuvée was a whole bunch pressed to 100% new Burgundian oak, while the balance was destemmed, crushed and pressed to 100% new Bordelais oak. 

Sulfured post-ferment to discourage malolactic fermentation, both components remain in barrel for 11 months. Super wine.

Drink 2022 - 2047

Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate (June 2023)

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About this WINE

Leeuwin Estate

Leeuwin Estate

Leeuwin Estate was purchased by Perth businessman Denis Horgan in the Margaret River region with a view to utilising it for cattle grazing. That was in 1969, but 3 years later Robert Mondavi visited the farm and immediately spotted the potential for wine production.

The farm quickly assumed the mantle of Australia's finest Chardonnay producer and its Cabernet Sauvignon became one of Western Australia's most sought-after reds. Some of the lowest yields in Australia and a near-perfect microclimate lie at the root of this estate`s success.

Oz Clarke has described the Chardonnay as Australia's "Montrachet", and few would beg to differ.

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Margaret River

Margaret River

Located on the most south-westerly point of Australia, three hours’ drive south of Perth, the Margaret River region sprang to life during the 1960s and 1970s as a result of Professor Harold Olmo’s and Dr John Gladstone’s research into the region’s viticultural potential. Consequently Vasse Felix was planted in 1967, Moss Wood in 1970 and Cullen in 1971. Since then the plantings have grown exponentially, while the number of wineries has increased six-fold. This explosion of wineries has perhaps been to the detriment of the wine quality.

Bounded to the west by the Indian Ocean and the 90km Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin promontory, the region enjoys a benign if damp maritime climate in which the vines rarely shut down, causing disrupted flowering (exacerbated by strong, westerly sea winds). Over the growing season it’s 16 percent hotter than in Coonawarra and 7% than the Médoc.

The Cape ridge is made up of lateritic clay topsoils over weathered granite and gneiss, giving fruit with a relatively high pH. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most fancied variety,producing a lush, early drinking style, followed by Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sémillon.

Recommended Producers: Cullen, McHenry Hohnen Vintners, Moss Wood, Cape Mentelle and Voyager Estate.

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Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is often seen as the king of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

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