2020 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series, Margaret River, Western Australia – WA 98

2020 Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay Art Series, Margaret River, Western Australia – WA 98

$114.95

Description

Family owned, Leeuwin Estate, one of the five founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district of Western Australia, is under the direction of two generations who work with a team of highly skilled winemakers to consistently produce wines ranking alongside the world’s finest. In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine and provided early mentorship to Denis and Tricia Horgan in the transformation of their cattle farm into Leeuwin Estate. Enjoying its first commercial vintage in 1979, Leeuwin was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1981 “Art Series” Chardonnay. The international accolades have continued and Leeuwin now exports to 30 markets. Celebrating the combination of fine wine, food, art and music, Leeuwin features an award winning restaurant, cellardoor and art gallery. The Estate is renowned for staging spectacular events and welcoming visitors from around the world.

The “Art Series” represents Leeuwin’s most opulent and age-worthy wines and are identified with paintings commissioned from leading contemporary Australian Artists.  Leeuwin’s Art Series Chardonnay and Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon are included in wine auction house, Langton’s prestigious classification. With point scores as high as 98/100, the Wine Spectator has included Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnays in the editor’s annual Top 100 Wines of the Year list on numerous occasions with the 2011 vintage ranked wine #5 in 2014, 2015 ranked #38 (95 points), 2016 ranked #28 (96 points).  The 2018 at 97 points, and 2019 at 95 points.  This 2020 is just arriving now and won’t be ranked until year end.

Cool destemmed fruit held on skins combine with components of whole bunch pressed parcels. The juice was settled for 12-36 hours, racked and inoculated with yeast. 100% of the juice was barrel fermented in new French oak barriques and the lees stirred regularly. After 11 months in barrels, the various components were blended, fined, cold stabilized and bottled.  pH 3.10,  Acid 7.26 g/l, Alcohol 13.50%

“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 percent of the cuvée was whole bunch pressed to 100% new Burgundian oak, while the balance was destemmed, crushed and pressed to 100% new Bordelais oak. Sulfured post-ferment in order to discourage malolactic fermentation, both components remain in barrel for 11 months. Super wine.  Drink NOW to 2047.” – 98 points, Wine Advocate