31st August 2014
Xanadu (noun): An idealized place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty
Starting life as Chateau Xanadu, the Lagan family planted their first vineyard in 1977. Many good Cabernet-based wines were produced by the winery over the subsequent two decades. However, their listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2001 (and subsequent expansion), coincided with a difficult period for the winery that is now simply known as Xanadu.
In 2005, Doug Rathborne (Managing Director of Nufarm) purchased the winery and vineyards, adding them to his stable of high quality wineries. With Yering Station (Yarra Valley), Mount Langi Ghiran (Grampians) and Parker Estate (Coonawara) already in the group, the addition of Xanadu added a Western Australian arm to the business.
Given the quality of the other three wineries, I had high hopes for the quality of the wines from Xanadu following the takeover. With Glen Goodall leading the winemaking, there was a noticeable improvement in the quality of the wines.
Since 2010 though, Xanadu seems to have stepped up a gear, the wines (especially those made from Cabernet) shining in numerous tastings.
With the current release, it was the Chardonnays that really made me sit up and pay attention. Whilst the DJL was a decent effort, it was the Xanadu and Reserve that really stood out.
The Xanadu was a complete and captivating wine that could be drunk with pleasure now, whereas the Reserve was restrained and taut, crying out for a few years in the cellar.
With these wines, it is clear that Xanadu is living up to its name.
Xanadu – Chardonnay – DJL – 2013 (17). Youthful and fruit driven, with lemony acid to close. Will build more depth on the mid palate with a year or two in bottle. A decent effort that is an easy drinking option now.
Xanadu – Chardonnay – 2012 (18.2). Beautiful nose that is seductive and compelling. The nose opens with pineapple, stone-fruit and zesty grapefruit notes. The palate is very long and fine, with lovely palate transition. The quality fruit has been skillfully matched to high quality oak. The creamy texture is a highlight, aided by excellent winemaking. A restrained wine that, whilst delicious now, has everything present to make for a superb drink in 3 – 5 years. (RRP $35).
Xanadu – Chardonnay – Reserve – 2012 (18.5). The most complex of the three wines, but also the least accessible at present. The nose is quite tight and restrained, with the high quality fruit and winemaking needing air to become apparent. It is on the palate that the quality really stands out. The way the fine stone fruit and citrus notes sit over minerals and curry leaf are redolent of fine Burgundy. Supple, textured, long, refined and elegant, with near seamless palate transition. A lovely wine that will improve for several years to come. (RRP $85).