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Leeuwin Estate Margaret River Prelude Chardonnay 2019
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FOUNDED: 1975OWNER: The Horgan FamilyWINEMAKER: Tim LovettCLIMATE: MediterraneanPROFILE: 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.VITICULTURE: Situated at Australia's most southwestern point and surrounded by ocean on three sides, Margaret River offers a consistent, maritime climate. Warm days are tempered by cool evenings, protecting the vines from extreme temperatures. The region's ancient granitic base provides free-draining laterite gravel soils that are ideal for viticulture. Enjoying such a favorable grape-growing environment, Leeuwin Estate's viticultural practices focus on minimal intervention. The Estate is planted to predominantly Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling; however, it is Block 20, Leeuwin's greatest site, that bears fruit for the iconic Art Series Chardonnay. Situated on the lower slopes of a northwest facing, rolling gravelly hill, the twenty-five year-old vines are of the original Gin Gin clone. These tiny berries offer bright acidity and delicate, yet persistent, varietal flavor - the hallmarks of the acclaimed wine.WINEMAKING: Under Robert Mondavi's early direction, the Leeuwin Estate winery was established without compromise. Quality was the utmost priority; the aim, to produce premium wines that would compete on the world stage. Taking advantage of innovative technology, the winery was one of the first in the region to adopt temperature-controlled fermentation tanks, while only the best French oak barrels were imported for maturation. To this day, the winemakers take advantage of modern technology in their drive to achieve complexity, balance and longevity across the range. The result - Australia's most highly prized white wine: the Art Series Chardonnay.
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