Drinking Outside The Box

With Simon Woods – wine for people who have a life

Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay 2001 – not yer typical Aussie Chardie.. June 27, 2009 at 10:01 pm

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Sometimes you open hallowed bottles and they piss on your chips. Occasionally it’s because they’re corked, but most often the let-downs are because the wines just don’t live up to their billing – anyone seen a good Bob Dylan gig in the last 20 years? But tonight, I’m on a top end Aussie white that did exactly what it was supposed to do – and had me and the missus fighting over who was going to get the last glass.

Leeuwin Estate isn’t counted among the real pioneers of the Margaret River region in Western Australia, but it’s certainly not a newcomer. It’s now 30 years since the first vintage, and while there are a number of good wines in the Leeuwin range, it was the Art Series Chardonnay that first propelled the winery to fame, and which continues to fly the flag in commendable fashion. And tonight, the 2001** is singing. It started off a little firm and reserved, still with vestiges of oak, but then opened up to show a seductive, honeyed side, all the while with tender pear and pineapple fruit in centre stage. There’s also some nutty, leesy character, while underpinning it all is wonderfully zesty citrus acidity and clean minerally intent. Tasty, tasty wine that’s not trying to be white Burgundy, but which is just as complex and satisfying. If you’re lucky enough to have some left, it’s a wine still with plenty of life ahead of it. However, don’t be afraid to pull the cork now – and don’t be afraid to invite me along if you need a hand finishing off the bottle…

** Yes, for Robert and any others who were wondering, the Art Series 2001

Categorised in: Chardonnay, Margaret River

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