Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2016
leeuwin-estate-art-series-chardonnay-2016

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2016

Sale price$210.00
Wallcliffe, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Chardonnay

Closure: Screwcap

Only 15 left in stock
Usually ready in 2-4 days

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2016

Pick up

, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

Minimum order bottles
Maximum order bottles
Order in lots of

Producer: Leeuwin Estate

Country: Australia

Region: Margaret River

Vintage: 2016

Critic Score: 99

Alcohol: 13.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2045


Needs a few years, but this may well be the greatest Leeuwin Chardonnay released to date - Brendan Jansen MW

Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2019
James Halliday Top 100 Wines of 2019

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay needs no introduction. It is an icon of Australian wine and is one of Langton's Heritage Five which celebrates Australia's most exceptional and ground-breaking wines - the other four being Penfolds Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace, Mount Mary Quintet and Wendouree Shiraz. It is often compared favourably with great White Burgundies. "The Art Series Chardonnay is Australia's finest chardonnay based on the wines of the last 30 vintages. The move to screwcap brought a large smile to the faces of those who understand just how superbly the wine ages."  James Halliday

"For me, the 2016 Leeuwin is the closest thing, stylistically, to Burgundy - Grand Cru Burgundy - I have seen in an Australian chardonnay. The combination of power, intensity, palate length and precision stamps it as something special. A little element of Puligny, Chassagne, with more than a decent hit of Margaret River. Deciding to give it 99+ wasn't taken lightly. I was pretty sure after the first taste a few weeks ago, surer after sharing a bottle with friends and finally convinced after a third assessment, when I tasted it several times over 24 hours to see how it opened up."  Ray Jordan

The Art Series Chardonnay is sourced primarily from the 1976-planted Block 20 and supplemented with fruit from the 1978-planted Block 22. The quality of the vineyard is well recognised and remains the backbone of the Art Series Chardonnay. The vineyard blocks are planted to the Gingin clone on a series of rolling hills facing all directions. 

"The nose is energetic, precise and finite with remarkable clarity and purity. Lime, lemon pith, grapefruit and Nashi pear are the hallmark fruits present. Delicate notes of jasmine, cardamom pod, flint, wet stone, blanched almonds and rice wafer give subtle complexity in the background. The shape and frame of the palate is the highlight; volume, combined with length and a mineral acid line threaded in between. Grapefruit, pear and lemon are set in the foreground amongst nougat, brioche, cinnamon and graphite. Wine with incredible poise and presence, with a long life ahead."  Leeuwin Estate

 

Leeuwin Estate
 The Leeuwin Estate story

Expert reviews

"Pale colour. Fresh flinty, lemon curd, bitter lemon, grapefruit aromas with yeasty, vanilla, roasted hazelnut. Generous ripe peach, nectarine, grapefruit, pear flavours, fine silky textures, superb mid palate creaminess and integrated mineral acidity. Finishes al dente with crunchy nectarine fruits and underlying savoury notes. Lovely extract, volume and persistency. A racehorse. Drink: Now-2036."  Andrew Caillard MW, The Vintage Journal - 100 points (Tasted 2021)

"For me, the 2016 Leeuwin is the closest thing, stylistically, to Burgundy - Grand Cru Burgundy - I have seen in an Australian chardonnay. The combination of power, intensity, palate length and precision stamps it as something special. A little element of Puligny, Chassagne, with more than a decent hit of Margaret River. Deciding to give it 99+ wasn't taken lightly. I was pretty sure after the first taste a few weeks ago, surer after sharing a bottle with friends and finally convinced after a third assessment, when I tasted it several times over 24 hours to see how it opened up."  Ray Jordan, The West Australian – 99+ points

"The perfumed perfection of the bouquet and the wonders of the palate, with its ever-shifting mosaic of white stone fruit, rock melon, grapefruit, Granny Smith apple and custard apple reign supreme. Oak? Yes, it's there, although subtle. Acidity? Yes, the giver of life now and into the future. Drink by 2046."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 99 points and Top 100 wines of 2019 and Special Value Wine  ★ 

"The Art Series range represents Leeuwin's most elegant and cellar-worthy wines from each vintage, and while I have no doubt this will cellar well, it will call for great willpower to not drink it right now because it is magnificent in its youth. With striking artwork from Kim Maple, entitled Influence, the wine lives up to to its billing as an Australian classic. It is a chardonnay of poise and precision, at once delicate and at the same time assertive it has the core strength of a ballerina. With layers of flavour including flintiness, nuts, Asian spices and bright, tight fruit on the grapefruit/ Packham pear side in of the spectrum this is downright delicious. This one merits 99/100."  Winsor Dobbin – 99 points

"Very light colour for its age and the bouquet is likewise fresh and young and unevolved. There are subtle grapefruit, spice and nougat aromas and the oak is taking a back-seat. The wine is still tight and reserved, and really needs to be cellared. It's concentrated and will reveal much more if given time. It has outstanding length and finesse. Great potential. Drink: 2021 to 2032."  Huon Hooke, The Real Review - 98 points

"The 2016 Art Series Chardonnay is slick, polished and glossy and exhibits a poise and consistency of flavor in the mouth that is incredibly impressive. I have said it before, but this vintage flew under my radar on release. Excellent, no doubt, but it is growing in stature exponentially over the years. This may emerge as one of the true greats in the lineup; for now, it's full of mouth-filling pleasure and balance. 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. About 20% to 25% of the cuvée underwent wild fermentation. Sulfured post-ferment in order to discourage malolactic fermentation, both components remain in barrel for 11 months. Drink: 2023 - 2046."  Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate - 98 points (Tasted July 2023) 

"I have written recently about just how good this is, but on the night: More perfumed, with lovely floral highlights. The palate is shy and restrained, with the balance and mouth-feel a highlight. Needs a few years, but this may well be the greatest Leeuwin Chardonnay released to date. A great way to end the evening."  Brendan Jansen MW, Fine Wine Club (Vertical Tasting 2000 – 2016 vintage, Tasted May 2019)

"2016 was an outstanding year, with an early, fine summer with daily sea breezes. Slightly above-average January and February temperatures were offset by a welcome 90mm of January rain. Markedly floral, there's a white blossom character to both nose and back-palate. It's a concentrated wine with gently granular fresh and dried pear notes, accompanied by silkier white peach. Succulent, ripe lemony acidity is well integrated and gently sheathed by nougat-inflected creamy lees. Lovely lithe mouthfeel and beautiful harmony."  Decanter - 97 points

"Refined and elegant, this white is supple, yet intense and precise, with lemon curd, apricot, honeycomb and mandarin orange flavors, accented by floral and mineral details. The secret weapon here is the sleek acidity, which weaves in and out, giving the flavors definition and verve."  MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator - 96 points and Top 100 Wines of 2019

Awards

Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2019
James Halliday Top 100 Wines of 2019
Special Value Wine – Halliday Wine Companion  ★ 

The winery

Leeuwin Estate

In 1969, Denis and Tricia Horgan purchased a farm and plumbing business in Margaret River that they would eventually transform into Leeuwin Estate, one of Australia's most iconic wineries. At the time they had little interest in wine or plumbing (they sold the business), but in 1972 they met legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, who wanted to purchase their farm to plant vineyards. The farm was not for sale, but with Mondavi acting as consultant and mentor, they planted vineyards with the dream of becoming a world-class producer of premium wine.

A nursery was planted in 1974, the vineyards were planted over a five-year period from 1975 and Leeuwin released its first commercial vintage in 1979. The Leeuwin Estate vineyards are planted to Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, but it is the Chardonnay and to a lesser extent the Cabernet that are the stars of the portfolio. Langton's classifies Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay as 'Exceptional' and one of the Heritage Five which celebrates Australia's most iconic, exceptional and ground-breaking wines - the other four are Penfolds Grange, Henschke Hill of Grace, Mount Mary Quintet and Wendouree Shiraz.

Leeuwin Estate releases its wines under three labels, the Art Series, Prelude Vineyards and Siblings. The Art Series range was created in 1980 and features Australian artwork on the labels.

Denis and Tricia Horgan continue their involvement in Leeuwin Estate, but today it is their two eldest children, son Justin Horgan and daughter Simone Furlong, who run the business as joint chief executives. 

"I fell into the wine industry because Mondavi wanted to buy the land; I thank God that we didn't sell."  Denis Horgan

Leeuwin Estate Winery and the Margaret River Sub Regions
Leeuwin Estate Winery and the Margaret River Sub Regions

Art series labels

Art series Label

The Art Series range was created in 1980 and features Australian artwork on the labels.

"I had developed an interest in Australian art in the early days. During a trip to Europe I was invited to meet Baroness Philippine de Rothschild at the Chateau Mouton-Rothschild wine estate in Bordeaux. The winemaker showed me around the winery and art gallery before having lunch with the Baroness.

I was so impressed with the way art had been integrated into the business that I asked Baroness Philippine if she would mind if we used Australian Artwork on our labels. She thought that was a great idea and said, "Go ahead".

So we created the 'Art Series' range in 1980 to define our most opulent and age-worthy wines from each vintage.  The first label carried a painting of our region's famous 'Caves Road' by Robert Juniper. We now have over 150 paintings from Australia's leading contemporary artists in our collection. We display the original artworks in the winery art gallery."  Denis Horgan

The collection now comprises over 150 paintings and features artworks from artists including John Olsen, Arthur Boyd, Sir Sidney Nolan, Lloyd Rees, Albert Tucker, Fred Williams, Robert Juniper, Clifton Pugh and Imants Tillers. The only work not part of the Estate's own collection is Sir Arthur Streeton's Golden Summer, which was kindly offered by its then owner for use on a special Museum Release of the 1987 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon before moving to its new home at the National Gallery.

Many of the paintings and sculptures were specifically commissioned. Others were discovered in exhibitions around Australia and the artists approached for copyright permission to be reproduced as part of the label series. The first painting commissioned was of Caves Road by Robert Juniper for the 1980 Art Series Chardonnay. John Olsen was approached to paint the first artwork to be used on the Art Series Riesling. He responded with the creation of four works entitled “Frogs in Riesling”. These paintings were so irresistible that the decision was made to purchase all four and all have been used, in a random pattern, on Art Series Riesling labels ever since. This makes the Riesling unique, as for the labels of all other wines, a new work is commissioned each year.

Art Series Labels - Frogs in Riesling

Sir Sidney Nolan, when approached at the beginning of the series, advised he was not a graphic artist and did not paint for wine labels. He was also a red wine buff and was sent two unlabelled bottles of the 1982 Cabernet Sauvignon – one of Leeuwin's best vintages. He responded that for this wine he would happily provide a painting. This resulted in his Dolphin Rock appearing on the label.

With the high calibre of the artists consenting to appear on the labels, it is no longer a challenge convincing leading artists to be part of this collection. Eventually, as the collection builds, it is hoped to tour it in its own right. Some works have been lent from time to time but most are on display in the Leeuwin Estate Art Gallery.

The concerts

Leeuwin Estate Concert

"As one of the world's most isolated wine regions, we wanted to be creative in generating reasons for visitors to come and discover Margaret River and our wines.

Our winery overlooks a meadow surrounded by a forest of tall karri trees, creating a beautiful natural amphitheatre. So in 1985 we wrote to the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the local Ballet Company and the Opera Company inviting them to consider coming down and doing a concert. The idea of alfresco performances in the bush was extremely novel at the time and we didn't get much interest from any of them.

The then Director of The Festival of Perth, David Blenkinsopp, approached us about that time, asking if we would underwrite the visit to Australia of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, something that somewhat shocked us at the time, huge costs, logistics and all of that – no was the answer, unless they would be prepared to perform in our vineyard.

He went off to London to organise the tour and said he'd talk to the LPO and let me know. To my surprise he came back and said they'd love to perform at Leeuwin, as long as we underwrote the whole Australian tour. Trish thought I was mad, in fact everybody I know thought I was mad, but I said yes!

Funnily enough it was a bit like the wine, we didn't know that much about music and certainly nothing about being concert promoters, however we thought the London Philharmonic Orchestra was a pretty good 'band' to start our concerts with! They really might be worth the risk and we needed to generate a profile for our wine business in a creative way.

So 100+ members of The London Philharmonic Orchestra travelled all the way to Margaret River, we built a stage, did some creative things entertainment wise and all had a fantastic night. The concert was a sell-out; we even had to turn away 500. It made front page news, described as “The most extraordinary concert ever held in Australia."

Our wines were successfully launched nationally at functions held off the back of the concerts throughout Australia – it proved to be a highly successful promotion.

The impact of that first concert guaranteed the future success of our concerts. Whilst it cost a fortune in our underwriting of the total Australian tour it was a highly successful launch pad to promote Leeuwin Estate to all the right people at home and Eastern Australia.

That first Leeuwin Concert was so successful that we continued the relationship with the Festival of Perth for another two years, featuring other international orchestras. Then we thought that we needed to do something different and presented Ray Charles. The new format proved to be even more successful so we decided to stick to that format for a while – 32 years later we have presented an eclectic array of the world's leading musicians at Leeuwin, from Sting to James Taylor, Carole King and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa."  Denis Horgan

Text taken from Milton Wordley's article 'People of Wine', https://winetenquestions.com.au/  

wine region map of australia

Western Australia

Western Australia is home to more than 400 wineries across nine vast and extraordinary wine regions which are almost entirely concentrated in the south-west and great southern land divisions of the State. The regions are Blackwood Valley, Geographe, Great Southern, Peel, Pemberton, Manjimup, Margaret River and Swan District.

The oldest region is the Swan Valley, the best known both nationally and internationally is Margaret River and the largest is Great Southern. The Great Southern region is further divided into the five subregions of Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup.

The history of wine production in Western Australia dates back to 1840 with the establishment of Sandalford in the Swan Valley region. The recognition of the fine wine possibilities started to be realised after the establishment of the Margaret River Region in 1967, which has become renowned for its high quality Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The other regions produce a diverse range of regionally distinct wines, from stunning Rieslings and evocative Shiraz, to a range of unique Cabernet Sauvignon blends.