Xanadu Stevens Road Margaret River Chardonnay

Stevens Road Chardonnay is a selection of the best barrels of mature, low yielding vines on the Boodjidup Brook, on a ridge behind Leeuwin’s Block 20, the core of its magnificent Art Series Chardonnay. This is grand cru chardonnay turf in Margaret River, yet Stevens projects an entirely different personality to Art Series. It’s remarkable, not because it is overt or showy but, more profoundly, because it is a chardonnay of intricacy and precision, without a molecule out of place. The tension between refined sulphide notes and fruit precision, understated restraint and yet intensity and presence is captivating. It sings with wonderful complexity of struck flint and gunpowder, defining a chardonnay of impeccable focus, finely honed structure and magnificent intensity, lingering exceedingly long. It retains breathtaking precision and refined elegance, with tension upheld by tightly-drawn malic acidity (no malolactic fermentation here) and softy mineral texture. Pretty lemon blossom, grapefruit zest and white peach freshness are underscored by a soft grapefruit pith mouth feel interwoven with impeccably integrated oak. In all, one of the finest Xanadu white wines yet, and one of the Australian chardonnays of the year. $42 at Prince Wine Store.