Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Wine Review - Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2006

Unlike most white wines, some actually can handle a bit of bottle age. The wines of the Australian producer Leeuwin Estate are a good example of this. They made Australian wine history with their Art Series, stunning wines that receive high marks year after year.

The Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay is a somewhat more affordable alternative (11.900 OMR at African & Eastern). Although still a serious sum of money for a bottle of wine, this is definitely worth it. The growing season of 2006 was cool for Australian standards, and this resulted in a very exciting mix of fresh citrus fruit, combined with the lush character of the Chardonnay grape, moderately aged on wood. Tropical fruits, Asian spices (notably cinnamon and aniseed) and a touch of vanilla make this a perfect wine at the dinner table. We combined it with a dish of pan-seared mackarel, served with baked potatoes and a roasted bell-pepper mousse. The wine is serious and rich, and could handle the strong flavours of the dish with ease.

Don't hesitate to buy this wine if you find it. All you need is a good ocassion to open a bottle. The good thing is, it can still do with a bit of time in bottle, so there is no rush whatsoever.

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