I had an opportunity to taste the 2009 Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay before its official release on 1 May, and compare it with the 2005 and 2007. I published a post on the 2005 only a couple of weeks ago and my impressions from then were the same as in this tasting. The 2007 is from a very warm vintage, resulting in a broader palate. It was the least favourite of mine of the three.
The 2009 Chardonnay shows the typical mix of tropical fruit flavours: peach, mango, pineapple and passionfruit. As with the 2005 though, it does not end up as fruit salad, but rather a complex wine, supported by 100% new oak. The wine has good length and the finish stays with you for some time.
The Leeuwin Chardonnay always has pure and complex fruit, the oak is well integrated and there is sufficient acidity for aging. The question is how lean or large the palate is. I favour without doubt a more linear sensation on the palate. The 2009 is similar to the 2005, obviously less advanced, but the palate is more linear. As a result, this is the best Leeuwin Chardonnay of the last five years. It is not as good as the 2001, but I rate it as a buy for Leeuwin Chardonnay lovers.