I make no secret of it, Leeuwin is my favorite Australian Chardonnay. On the eve of the release of the 2009 Chardonnay, I thought I might try a more mature one.
The 2005 Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay displays a dazzling array of tropical fruits: Peach, melon, guava, papaya, mango and pineapple. It is not a fruit salad though, rather the flavours are finely layered on the palate. One of the amazing things about this wine in general is that the fruit is able to absorb the 100% new oak without trouble.This is not quite the case with the 2005. The oak is quite noticeable here, but it is not unpleasant. It adds to the complexity of the wine. The wine is soft and melts on the palate - maybe a bit too much. This year, the wine is riper and sweeter than in the best years, but the citrussy acidity on the finish provides some balance. As usual the wine has a smooth and lengthy finish.
This wine drinks well at seven years, but I would not keep it for more than a couple of extra years. Overall, the 2005 is a very good wine, although it does not quite reach the pinnacle of some of the earlier years.