Chardonnay – When only the best will do!

Chardonnay – When only the best will do!

Barry Weinman: 21st March 2024

Here is a preview of some new release superstars of Western Australian chardonnay. These are wines that every collector should have on their wish list.

What sets these wines apart from their predecessors is the immediacy that they offer. Both the Leeuwin and the Cullen are more delicious in their youth than in previous recent vintages.

The Cullen Kevin John in particular , appears to be a significant shift in style to this taster.


Leeuwin Estate – Art Series – Chardonnay – 2021. Just magnificent, and very, very Leeuwin. Ripe, yet restrained, rich yet subtle, intense, yet possessing an ethereal delicateness. Great length, amazing power and sublime mouthfeel, the persistence is a feature. But for me, what defines this wine is the immediacy. Whilst this will drink well for a decade, it is just sublime now. Why wait? 13.5% alc, 97pts – $160.

Cullen Kevin John – Chardonnay – 2023. This is irresistible. I found myself swallowing this without even giving thought to the finer details, such is the immediate beauty on show here. On second taste, this has ripe, bright peachy fruit, that has surprising viscosity and a wonderful mouthfeel. The acid and oak are completely invisible, but play an important role in maintaining the flow on the palate. This is clearly different in style to recent Kevin John chardonnays, but no less compelling. Drink now and be happy. 13.5% alc – 95-96pts – $TBC.

Howard Park – Allingham – Chardonnay – 2022. A taut, restrained wine that has wonderful line and length, but needs 2 – 4 years for the fruit to unwind and fully assert its power and quality. The taut acidity is a feature, as is the seamless oak and winemaking additions. The length is a highlight. 12.5% alc – 95pts – $100.