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After 20 years observing the area, Bruce Jukes decided all the Chardonnays from Domaine Naturaliste would be crafted entirely from the Gin Gin clone.
He selected a vineyard in the South of Margaret River that had Gin Gin cropped in a particular way, with little light flooding through the canopy. He wanted flavour intensity without the tannins that come with over-ripeness and he got it.
The result of his search are the twin Chardonnays Artus and Purus. Artus is the voluptuous seductress. The powerhouse Margaret River Chardonnay with a gymnast-like balance. 40% new oak, richness and zip in equal proportion.
With 96 points from James Halliday this is a prime example of why Margaret River has been the home of premium Chardonnay in Australia for decades.
What It Tastes Like
“Bruce Dukes at his best, conjuring up the complexity of a top French white burgundy with a base of natural acidity ex relatively low alcohol. The barrel ferment has led to complex, funky nuances, and the texture of the wine builds progressively until it moves through towards the exceptionally long finish and aftertaste.” - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
96 points. “Bruce Dukes at his best, conjuring up the complexity of a top French white burgundy with a base of natural acidity ex relatively low alcohol. The barrel ferment has led to complex, funky nuances, and the texture of the wine builds progressively until it moves through towards the exceptionally long finish and aftertaste.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
Artus is an artistic translation of our local Gin Gin clone into wine. The wine creates its own journey. It is a provocative, complex and textural wine exuding the seductive spirit of “old world” Chardonnay. The vines have been managed to allow only dappled light into the fruiting zone. This promotes flavour development, low tannins, and bright levels of natural acidity. The fruit is sourced from the cool southern end of Margaret River. The tiny 100g Gin Gin clusters are hand harvested at first light to preserve freshness of fruit.
An ideal wine to enjoy beside the “Purus Chardonnay” in order to celebrate differences in winemaking styles.
Flavours and perfumes are reminiscent of crème brulee and candied citrus peel with a background of toasty oak. The palate is rich with a viscous creamy texture. A balanced wine expressing intensity and layered complexity promising further evolution over time.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2025
About the Producer
Domaine Naturalist is another of the ‘new guard’ Margaret River producers to keep an eye out for. Owner/winemaker Bruce Jukes has a wealth of winemaking experience both here and abroad, including a stint at Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic Niebaum Coppola winery in the Napa Valley. His wines are made from traditional Margaret River varieties and blends, but with a modern focus on elegance, freshness and balance. Great value too!
Margaret River is recognised as one of the country’s finest wine growing regions. The quality of the region’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay rival the very best in the world. But Margaret River is no two-trick-pony. There, Tempranillo and Malbec are excelling, Touriga Nacional seems to be quite at home, Chenin Blanc is getting serious and even pockets of Nebbiolo are rearing their heads. Watch this space. Who knows what new surprises are just around the corner from this famous region.
Australian Chardonnay is a seductive variety that comes in all shapes and sizes. From the toasty and voluptuous to the lean, flinty and minerally, there is a Chardonnay out there to suit everyone. Australia’s developing prowess with this variety has been marked by the international community with wine writers such as Jancis Robinson marvelling at the outstanding value to be had right across the country. The prestige brands of Margaret River offer wines of deep flavour and power, often crafting fuller-figured Chardonnay of outstanding quality. The cooler-climate wines from the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the like are more focused and linear, building complexity around a backbone of pristine acidity. Whatever your preference, there is an Australian Chardonnay to enchant all comers.
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