2019 Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay
Leeuwin Estate are arguably Australia’s greatest Chardonnay producer and whilst it’s their Art Series Chardonnay that takes centre stage, their Prelude Chardonnay is often a close reflection of its quality at a quarter of the price.
Brilliant very pale straw colour with a distinct glimmer of green around the edges and a watery hue. Rising with confidence out of the glass are peach and nectarine scents trailed by light dried honey, biscuity oak, nougat and subtle gun flint. Mid weighted the palate is layered with nectarine and grapefruit flavours which are infused with gun flint. Excellent intensity with nuances of biscuity oak, light citrusy nougat characters and spicy roasted almonds flowing onto a gently creamed finish. Beautifully balanced fresh acidity with a long vibrant, elegant aftertaste.
Drink over the next 4-5 years.
Wild ferment, high solids, 10 months in 35-40% new oak. The cooler ‘19 vintage produced saline acid which is fine and tight. Almond meal and cashew initially; the mid palate and beyond shows attractive exotic spice complexity and great length of flavour. Green pistachio, yellow peach and brine. Regular lees stirring has built texture, but it is the intensity of fruit that makes this great: the Leeuwin chardonnay DNA is evident from the first mouthful. Drink by 2027.
Erin Larkin – James Halliday’s Wine Companion