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Prelude Chardonnay 2018


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REGION: Margaret River, Western Australia
VARIETALS: Chardonnay
MATURATION: 10 months in 100% French oak barriques (40% new)
ANALYSIS:  13.5% alc/vol  |  7.51 g/L TA  |  3.24 pH 

VINTAGE: After a typically wet winter, flowering in all varieties was approximately ten days earlier than in vintage 2017. Spring was met by generally mild conditions, with the usual showery and sunny periods resulting in excellent set across most varieties. Summer was warm with very few hot days, and veraison occurred two weeks earlier than in 2017. 2018 was a spectacular year for flowering of the local Marri trees, which kept birds distracted from the ripening vineyards. Harvest commenced in the Riesling in the middle of February, followed by Chardonnay a week later.

WINEMAKING: Cool crushed fruit with some skin contact. The juice was settled for three days, racked and inoculated with yeast. 100% of the juice was barrel fermented in French barriques and the lees stirred regularly. After ten months in barrel the various components were blended, fined, cold stabilized and bottled.

TASTING NOTES: Heightened floral notes of jasmine, frangipani, chamomile and cardamom meet with the classical pear, lime and lemon fruit spectrum. The nose has energy with delicate complexity. Layers beneath the forefront include oyster shell, brioche and almond shell. The palate is finely woven and lively. The clarity of fruit is highlighted with lime curd, pear and pink grapefruit. Throughout, the palate has great shape and texture; layers of cassia, clove and cashew create dimension within the primary fruit core, The structure is held quite tight with a fine acid line and mineral thread.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM: 91 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate

ABOUT LEEUWIN: After an extensive search in 1972 for the most suitable premium viticultural area in Australia, Robert Mondavi singled out the future site of Leeuwin Estate. Thrust into the international spotlight when their 1980 Art Series was awarded Decanter’s highest recommendation, the Estate has since performed with stellar consistency, the Horgan family defending their position as one of Australia’s leading wineries.

Leeuwin Estate

Leeuwin Estate

After an extensive search in 1972 to identify the most suitable Australian area for the production of premium varietal wines, Robert Mondavi singled out a small plot of land in the Margaret River region. At the time a cattle farm, Leeuwin Estate evolved under the direction of owners Denis and Tricia Horgan, with Mondavi acting as consultant and mentor. The Estate was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter magazine awarded their highest recommendation to the 1980 Art Series Chardonnay. Now under the direction of two generations of the founding family, the Estate is recognized as one of Australia's leading wine producers and wine tourism pioneers. Featured three times in the prestigious category of "International Winery of the Year" by U.S. Wine & Spirits magazine, Leeuwin Estate wines consistently rank alongside the world's finest.

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