Sunday, March 15, 2009

Leeuwin vs. Giaconda

As I opened a bottle of the 2004 Giaconda Chardonnay today, it may be worth while to compare it to Leeuwin Chardonnay, which I had a taste of a few days ago.

Both wines have a number of things in common: they are complex, provide a seamless taste experience, they give great mouthfeel, are elegant and have excellent structure. Both are quite big and full flavoured.

So what are the differences? Based on a few experiences, and now repeated, there are mainly two: the Giaconda has a predominant grapefruit flavour profile, whereas the Leeuwin tastes more of peach and nectarine. The second difference is the more significant creaminess in the Giaconda, probably due to more substantial new oak treatment. In the Leeuwin, the fruit stands out and the oak is very much in the background.

In summary, you could confuse the Giaconda with a top flight Meursault Burgundy, the Leeuwin tastes more uniquely new world. 


Anonymous said...

But which one did you prefer?

I have always liked the Leeuwin along with the Pierro, Sorrenberg and Savaterre Chardonnays but in my opinion when it comes to the pinnacle of Australian Chardonnay its really hard to see beyond the Gioconda. Absolutely world class.

Paul -

Alontin said...

On this occasion, I preferred the Giaconda, mainly because of the somewhat plump finish of the Leeuwin bottle. However, Leeuwin 87,95 or 99 Chardonnay were superb. I have less experience with past Giaconda vintages.

Pierro can be great, but is better drunk relatively young. The sometimes amazing fruit cocktail does not improve with age. Savaterre is like a baby Giaconda, but not with the same fruit intensity. I don't think Sorrenberg is quite in this league. Other very promising producers are Bindi and Kooyong.

Chardonnay remains the king of white wine in this country.