Still fine de­spite stiff com­pe­ti­tion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Wine - with John Jens

THE west’s chardon­nays no longer dom­i­nate the pre­mium Aus­tralian white wine mar­ket to the ex­tent that they did five and ten years ago.

Although, the best wines from the state’s tiny four per cent of Aus­tralia’s chardonnay pro­duc­tion are finer now and more suc­cess­ful than the east in the ma­jor in­ter­na­tional shows and reviews.

The UK’s most au­thor­i­ta­tive wine web­site jan­cis­robin­son.com and the world’s most in­flu­en­tial wine web­site eRobertParker.com still re­serve their great­est Aus­tralian praise for WA.

At home, James Hal­l­i­day, both last year and this year, has also se­lected two of his four high­est pointed chardon­nays as com­ing from Mar­garet River, the 2011 Cullen Kevin John and his 2015 Aus­tralian Wine Com­pan­ion Chardonnay of the Year - the 2011 Leeuwin Art Se­ries Chardonnay.

The last stocks of Vasse Felix’s sold out 2012 Heytes­bury Chardonnay (18.9 points) are on the shelves. It is the best wine that Vasse Felix has made and it is one of Aus­tralia’s great­est chardon­nays, and, at $65, it is the most rea­son­ably priced of its qual­ity equiv­a­lents.

The soon to be re­leased 2013 ‘block­buster’ is a ‘great’ wine in the wine­mak­ing team’s view and their won­der­fully warm, round and drink­able 2013 Vasse Felix Chardonnay (18.2) is also one of the finest in its $37 price range.

Over at Pierro, the creamy tex­tured and in­te­grated, long and dense 2012 Chardonnay (18.8) is also one of their great­est ever.

Leeuwin Es­tate also con­firmed their sta­tus as Aus­tralia’s great­est and most con­sis­tent chardonnay pro­ducer with the re­lease of the mar­vel­lous cur­rent drink­ing 2010 (18.9/19) and the youth­ful 2011 (18.8/9) Art Se­ries vin­tages.

The 2011 Cullen Kevin John Chardonnay gained praise in the UK and US where Lisa Per­rotti-Brown of eRobertParker.com se­lected it as one of her three Aus­tralian white wines of the year.

This week, the just re­leased 2012 vin­tage (19) which is bet­ter than the 2011, is the same web­site’s WA Re­view’s high­est pointed wine - clearly.

Vasse Felix’s Mick Lan­gridge and Vir­ginia Will­cock at the chardonnay har­vest at Vasse Felix's Wilyabrup Vine­yard.

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