Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2019 (1500ml)
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2019 (1500ml)
Leeuwin-Estate-Art-Series-Chardonnay-2019-1500ml

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2019 (1500ml)

Sale price$490.00
Wallcliffe, Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Chardonnay

Closure: Screwcap

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Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2019 (1500ml)

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Leeuwin Estate

Country: Australia

Region: Margaret River

Vintage: 2019

Critic Score: 99

Alcohol: 13.5%

Size: 1500 ml

Drink by: 2065


In many ways the most Burgundian of any of the Leeuwin releases. Will rank up there with the best to date - Ray Jordan

Ray Jordan WA Wine Review 2023 - Best Chardonnay & White Wine of the Year

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

"This is stunning stuff. Just a brilliant wine. World class. An extraordinary blend of opulence, fresh energy, purity of flavour, intensity and length. Focus is laser-like. Glorious now, but there is so much more ahead, with greater complexity and tertiary flavours to emerge as it ages. Expect this to be thrilling wine lovers in a decade. This release will inevitably be compared with the finest from both Australia and Burgundy. It sits very comfortably among them. Wonderful now, but it has so much more to reveal."  Ken Gargett

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. 

"Purity and clarity are the hallmarks of this wine. Woven lime curd, poached pear, lemon flesh and white nectarine feature at the forefront. This vintage breathes energy with lifted Chinese star jasmine, lime blossom and ginger notes. The complexity of cinnamon quill, toasted hazelnuts, nougat, panna cotta, flint and graphite diligently lie in the background. The palate is bright and energetic, with laced mineral acidity. Bursting lemon, lime and pear skin meet oyster shell and saline notes, providing a precise corridor and direction. Gently coiled textures give lateral capacity and dimension."  Leeuwin Estate

 

Leeuwin Estate
 The Leeuwin Estate story

Expert reviews

"In many ways the most Burgundian of any of the Leeuwin releases, this will rank up there with the best to date. There's a waxy light mealy aroma which picks up nuances of limestone and spice with a trace of grapefruit. But it is the palate that really distinguishes it. There is an austerity with the minerally chalky feel that cuts through the fruit extending to a finish of extraordinary length. Precision and focus harness a wine of great power and poise before dry savoury edges lift the finish. Date: March 2022; Drink: 2024-2038."  Ray Jordan, WA Wine Review 2023 – 99 points and Best Chardonnay & White Wine of the Year

"The morphology of the Gingin clone sees the berries ripen differently. The smaller berries usually possess slightly higher sugars and acidity. Vintage takes place in mid-February to early March and the grapes (about 2-3 kilos per vine) are hand-harvested when they have reached a point of 'energy, bone and pop!' This translates to intense pure fruit aromas, richness of flavour, fine al dente textures and fresh indelible acidity. These are the hallmark qualities of Gingin clone chardonnay. I have often wondered at the clone's provenance and passing resemblance to Meursault.

Pale colour. Intense lemon curd, grapefruit, peach, tropical fruit aromas with underlying roasted cashew/ hazel nut notes. Lovely grapefruit, lemon curd, tropical fruits, fine persistent chalky textures, attractive mid plate volume and fresh long indelible acidity. Finishes al dente, with savoury oak note. Still elemental but wonderfully balanced with the fruit density and torque to last the distance. Now – 2036."  Andrew Caillard MW, The Vintage Journal - 98+ points

"Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay on release is an achingly painful thing to drink, because once you've known the utter pleasure these wines bring at 5 or more years of age, it becomes a mess of cognitive dissonance to drink them so young. They are closed, taut, coiled, but more than anything, populated by rippling fruit that undulates untold through the interminably long finish. They typically don't reveal their kaleidoscopic spice and prismatic fruit flavour until a little further down the track. So, all I can humbly do here, is place the vintage in context. Through the lens of the cool year, this glitters with a purity and finesse that is deeply attractive. Aligned in style with the 2017. Drink by 2042."  Erin Larkin, Halliday Wine Companion - 98 points and Special Value Wine   ★ 

"One of Australia's most iconic wines and certainly our most famous Chardonnay. That means it can never put a foot wrong – the clamour of horror would be deafening if a release fell short, whereas if it maintains the incredible standards it has set over decades, there is little more than a ho-hum. Well, ho-hum, this is stunning stuff. Just a brilliant wine. World class. 

An extraordinary blend of opulence, fresh energy, purity of flavour, intensity and length. Stonefruit notes, lemon zest, oystershell and almond notes. Hints of mandarin and peach and even a touch of ripe mango. The oak is integrating well and will become even better in the coming years. Focus is laser-like. Glorious now, but there is so much more ahead, with greater complexity and tertiary flavours to emerge as it ages. Expect this to be thrilling wine lovers in a decade, if there is any left. This release, as they all are, will inevitably be compared with the finest from both Australia and Burgundy. It sits very comfortably among them. Wonderful now, but it has so much more to reveal. Drink: 2022-2032."  Ken Gargett, Wine Pilot - 98 points

"The 2019 Art Series Chardonnay is rich and savory but pure and saline too. There is white peach, red apples, curry leaf and brine. The way the flavor moves across the palate is testament to the phenolics that course through the wine; it’s all at a perfect intersect of fruit power, tannin and perfectly judged acidity. The flavor stains the palate and lingers in an unravelling spool of thread in the mouth long after the wine has gone. A stupendously good wine."  Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate - 98 points

"Gloriously perfumed, pure and precise, with heady lily opening up. Softly smoky, slow-burn oak suffuses the palate without detracting from the classic, fresh-cut and succulent poached pear, with firmer al dente pear skin and a touch of custard apple sweetness. Lanolin, cinnamon and lemon puff biscuit bring texture and nuance. Terrific length, poise and intensity, with lingering fruit and perfume. Archetypal Art Series."  Sarah Ahmed, Decanter - 98 points

"The 2019 Art Series Chardonnay is rich and savory but pure and saline too. There is white peach, red apples, curry leaf and brine. The way the flavor moves across the palate is testament to the phenolics that course through the wine; it's all at a perfect intersect of fruit power, tannin and perfectly judged acidity. The flavor stains the palate and lingers in an unravelling spool of thread in the mouth long after the wine has gone. A stupendously good wine."  Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate - 98 points

"Pale lemon, with a stylish nose of fennel, preserved lemon and cigar box spice. A delicate frame of spicy oak sits nicely alongside the fruit, finishing with toasted brioche and mealy flavours. Then a saline edge kicks in. There's tension yet generosity to the fruit. This is an outstanding wine, nothing feels forced, the fruit has been picked with precision timing. This lives up to its mantle as one of Australia's best, a brilliant release. Drink 2022-2033."  Gabrielle Poy, The Real Review - 97 points

"It's interesting to note the more refined, tighter style that Leeuwin has delivered over the last handful of years. They are still powerful, and rich in oak, but show less alcohol warmth and what you might call 'breathiness' these days. Anyway, a very good vintage for Chardonnay was 2019.

Pear, lemon oil, grapefruit, ginger, cinnamon and cedar oak, with a distinctly savoury sort of hazelnut character, along with some vanilla and white flower perfume. It's tight, powerful, saline and precise, with a firm flintiness to texture, quite chalky, and superb spicy length with an almost umami aftertaste. I'm thinking grapefruits and biscuits, grilled nuts, even citrus zest.  And for all its power and oak, it keeps itself racy and refined. It's a cracking release. Drink 2025-2032+"  Gary Walsh, The Wine Front - 97 points

"This very impressive 2019 Margaret River Chardonnay Art Series from a benchmark winemaker is a baby and built for the long haul. It's tightly wound and bursting with youthful vitality thanks to exceptionally precise melon, citrus and floral aromas. There is a rare combination of seamlessness and power - a steel fist in a velvet glove - with oak perfectly matched. Fantastic fruit volume follows yet the wine also remains light on its feet with a long line of flavours slowly emerging including praline, nougat, citrus and spicy oak through to a finish of immense length. A true classic."  Angus Hughson, Vinous - 96 points

Awards

Ray Jordan WA Wine Review 2023 - Best Chardonnay & White Wine of the Year
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.