"Combines delicacy and restraint with some inner power. This is a defining modern Margaret River chardonnay. The oak and the fruit combination is so good. It’s textured and complex with the wild yeast influence important. Such a superb wine."
95 points, The Western Australian, Top 100 Whites & Sparkling
Predominantly Gingin clone from Wallcliffe, Wilyabrup, Treeton and Karridale, whole-bunch pressed to barrel (20% new) for wild fermentation, all components stirred through a 9-month maturation. The complexity and character of the wine has garnered countless gold medals over the years, and you would expect this vintage to add to the record.
95 points, Wine Companion (February 2019)
Interesting chardonnay. Made in a racy, mouthwatering style yet it still has a power to it. It’s citrus-driven in large part though grapefruit, pear and apple characters also play roles. As indeed does creamy oak, though it adds as much texture as flavour. Can a wine be both lean and flavoursome? This wine provokes the question. It will be a much better drink in a year or two.
91+ points, The Wine Front (August 2019)
Assembled from six different vineyard sources, the 2018 DJL Chardonnay ended up including about 20% new oak. Toasted grain notes accent pineapple aromas, while the medium to full-bodied palate offers lemon-curd notes. It's a nicely balanced wine, one that artfully combines fruit, generosity of texture and bright acidity.
90 points, Wine Advocate (January 2020)
Very fresh, zesty lemons and nectarines to this chardonnay with a taut, crisp palate that delivers such fresh flavors.
92 points, JamesSuckling.com (March 2020)
Located three hours south of Perth, Margaret River is Western Australia’s most prestigious wine-growing region. Serious vineyard development began only in the late 1960’s following the publication of a report by John Gladstones in 1965 stating that the area had a similar climate to Pomerol or St Emilion, with low frost risk, plenty of sunshine and equable temperatures within the growing season promoting even ripening. Margaret River’s climate is warm and maritime, with some cooling influence provided by southeast trade winds. The soils derive from granitic and a gneissic rock over which laterite has formed. The region can be divided in three sub-regions: the cooler south between Yallingup and Karridale with predominantly lateritic gravelly loamy sands and sandy loams; the warm and sunnier Willyabrup in the centre with predominantly gravelly loams, but some gritty sandy loams and granitic gravels; and Margaret River in the north with similar soils, but slightly cooler temperatures. This is entirely consistent with style; the wines from Willyabrup being more generous than the highly structured wines of the north and the elegant styles of the south. Margaret River is best known for high quality Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends and top notch Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux blends. Over the years, the region has established an astonishing reputation illustrating a consistency in quality and a strongly focused winemaking culture.
XANADUJohn Lagan and family established Xanadu in the 1977 naming the property after Samuel Coleridge’s epic Kubla Khan or a Vision in a Dream. During the mid-1980s and 1990s Xanadu created a strong following for its muscular but energetic wines. After a brief interlude as a public company, it is now once more in private hands as part of the Rathbone Wine group. The Rathbone family has instigated a complete revitalisation of vineyard and wine making practise including lowering yields and optimising regional nuance. The 85 ha property is farmed along low input/organic lines and winemaking follows a minimal-intervention philosophy. Under winemaker Glenn Goodall, Xanadu is enjoying a major renaissance.