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Grand Cru Caliber Chardonnay: New Leeuwin Art Series - 11/22/2019 - Australia

At a market-best price of $69.99 and rated 98-points, the 2016 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay is a smart buy from one of Australia’s most celebrated estates. Not only does James Halliday's 98-point mark put 2016 Leeuwin "Art Series" among the elite white wines in today's market, but it is supported by other high marks that have it among the finest of a treasured label. As Decanter’s Sarah Ahmed notes, “2016 was an outstanding year, with an early, fine summer with daily sea breezes.” The result of these ideal conditions is a wine of impeccable focus and purity that will delight collectors far and wide. Leeuwin’s mastery with Chardonnay shines through with a wine that reveals copious fruit, a chorus of floral and savory tones, and crisp acidity. Leeuwin has proven once again that it stands shoulder to shoulder with the best from Burgundy and Sonoma. Simply put, this is an elite collectible at a reasonable price, and one that should find a home in any wine lover's cellar.

2016 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia ($69.99)

99 points James Halliday: "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." (11/2019)

98 points Bob Campbell: "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. - Huon Hooke, The Real Review" (05/2019)

97 points Decanter: "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. (SA)" (11/2018)

96 points Wine Spectator: "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. (MW)" (10/2019)

K&L Notes: #28 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2019

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 18, 2019

The Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay is one of the global benchmarks for top of the line Chardonnay. Year after year this is one of the best Chardonnays available anywhere, but every so often vintage conditions in Margaret River take this wine from exceptional to incredible. 2016 was absolutely one of those vintages. It balances a luxurious element of weight, detailed oak, and depth of flavor. I found notes of scorched pear, pie crust and Meyer lemon among nuances of vanilla and fresh pineapple. Its cool climate drive is apparent from the powerful, focused acidity that drives through the palate, and testifying to its quality is a long, resonating finish. It may be some time before we see another Art Series with this level of breadth, grace, and exposition of place.

Staff ImageMuriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2019

This is one of my favorite Chardonnay from Australia. It's intense but not powerful. It has focus and layers of everything we love about Margaret River whites. It lingers in your mouth long after the bottle sis empty. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing! I'd like to revisit in a year or two. I bet it will be stunning!

Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 14, 2019

This Chardonnay exudes the elegance of Burgundy, has the tenseness of Chablis, yet combines all of that with the purity of gorgeous orchard fruits of the New World. The usage of oak is masterfully integrated, and on this note I do not invoke "Burgundy" in a New World Chardonnay review lightly; the oak presents itself like it would in a wine from Montrachet. The fruit elevates the structure of the acidity, terroir, and oak to a class all of its own.