A WAY with chardon­nay

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Wine - WINE with John Jens

THE best of WA’S chardon­nays are very good and in 2016 they once again dom­i­nated the Aus­tralian cap­i­tal city wine show cir­cuit.

We have a seven cap­i­tal city wine show sys­tem and each has a tro­phy for the best of each ma­jor va­ri­ety pro­duced in this coun­try.

The west is home to about 3 per cent of Aus­tralia’s chardon­nay and in 2016 gained five of these chardon­nay tro­phies.

In James Hal­l­i­day’s Hal­l­i­day Wine Com­pan­ion 2017 edi­tion, Aus­tralia’s only es­sen­tial wine ref­er­ence, the west gained four of the six high­est pointed chardon­nays and 18 of the top 40.

Mar­garet River’s chardon­nays are bet­ter than ever and these, at 18.8 and 18.9 points, are the stand­outs so far.

And while stun­ning now, will be bet­ter in 2025.

Cullen Kevin John 2015 Vanya Cullen has joined Aus­tralia’s half-dozen great­est chardon­nay pro­duc­ers in the last decade.

A cou­ple of her rare Kevin John Legacy Se­ries chardon­nays are amongst Aus­tralia’s great­est ever. Whilst young now, the 2015 (18.9 points) will be the finest since the fa­mous 2007 re­lease. Mod­ern, fresh, sup­ple long and classy.

Leeuwin Es­tate Art Se­ries 2014

Leeuwin has pro­duced half of Aus­tralia’s great­est chardon­nays and this is an­other star. Big, full, open and re­laxed fruit ini­tially, then firmer and drier from the mid-palate on. It has the Leeuwin hall­mark’s enor­mous length, with high-qual­ity fruit plus a bril­liant fin­ish and af­ter­taste. Wood­land’s Chloe 2015 This floods and sa­ti­ates the palate with de­li­cious pri­mary fruit flavours and then comes the su­perb dry and lin­ger­ing fine tan­nined fin­ish. Clearly Wood­land’s finest ever.

Vasse Felix Heytes­bury 2015 It is be­com­ing a cliche be­cause each year it is said that Vasse Felix has im­proved again. Well, it ap­plies once more and this wine is huge, round, long and com­plex, with ex­pan­sive fruit to the very fin­ish.

Mar­vel­lous wine­mak­ing, oak se­lec­tion and han­dling has taken the Vasse Felix Heytes­bury chardon­nays to a new level and it is their finest ever. De­li­cious and 18.9 points.

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