2016 Leeuwin Estate "Prelude" Chardonnay Margaret River

SKU #1402226 94 points Decanter

 Classic with a good whack of stylish French oak on the nose. Juicy and full-flavoured stone fruit; limey acidity adds strength and balance. Focused, linear and stony, with an almost saline finish.  (10/2018)

94 points James Halliday

 Death, taxes and the quality of Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay. This may 'only' be the Prelude version but its quality is as clear as a bright blue sky. Pure stone fruit, sweet oak, pear and a cleansing flush of citrus through the finish. It builds, it satisfies and it refreshes. Elegance and power in one.  (11/2017)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 Leeuwin’s Prelude Chardonnay sees 40 percent new French oak, in contrast to its Art Series line, aged entirely in new barrels. By turning down the intensity, winemaker Phil Hutchison has created a gracious Chardonnay that shows the Stevens Road vineyard in a gentle light. That gentleness extends to its texture, supple and silken, and to the pale scents of ginger and yellow flowers. The wine feels substantial, with intensity to its apple and baked-pear flavors—“it vibrates on my palate,” one taster said. All the elements of the wine are balanced, so it would probably age; the intention, however, is to present a wine to drink on release, and there’s little reason to resist its seductive beauty.  (10/2018)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 In this vintage of Prelude, the vineyards' proximity to ocean couldn't be more apparent. Sea spray, shells and all manner of beachfront smells are at the fore, backed by grapefruit, white spice and gunflint. The palate is salty and slippery. It's a little austere, the acidity on the lean side and the oak a touch apparent, but pair this with a wide array of dishes, particularly seafood, and it should come alive. (CP)  (2/2019)

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River

Alcohol Content (%): 13.5