Xanadu was established by Dr John Lagan, an Irishman, who arrived in Margaret River in 1968 and was inspired by the pioneering spirit of the region. At the time, the potential of Margaret River as one of the world’s finest wine-producing regions was only just being considered. So less than a decade on, Dr Lagan with his wife Eithne established one of the region’s earlier vineyards, planting his first vines in 1977. Lovers of literature will remember Xanadu as Samuel Coleridge’s mysterious, idyllic, exotic city; home of Kubla Khan. Dr Lagan, himself a great literature enthusiast, drew parallels between Coleridge’s visions of utopia and his newly adopted home, and thus the name Xanadu was born.
The growing season began with an early budburst after a relatively mild winter with reasonable rainfall. The beautiful spring weather which followed which led to good flowering / fruit set and improved yields for most varieties in the region. Fine, warm weather during summer saw sugar accumulation accelerate quickly in the whites, until a significant rain event mid-January stalled the ripening process until the fine weather returned soon after. The warm, dry weather throughout February was fantastic, ensuring the whites achieved flavour ripeness. The 2016 Xanadu Chardonnay is predominantly Estate grown in the Wallcliffe sub-region, with 80% of the blend being made with fruit sourced from our Stevens Road and Lagan Estate vineyards. The remaining 20% was sourced from a mature Karridale vineyard.
Made entirely from Gingin clone Chardonnay which was whole bunch pressed followed by 100% barrel fermentation in select French oak (25% new oak). Wild fermentation was encouraged on all of the components, in order to introduce more complexity and personality into the wine. All of the individual batches which make up the blend were lees stirred throughout a nine-month oak maturation period, without any malolactic fermentation. The final blend was put together in November 2016.
The Xanadu Chardonnay has a pale straw colour. The bouquet of this elegant, yet striking Chardonnay offers both purity and complexity. Fresh pears, white-fleshed stone fruits, and grapefruit lead the charge, followed by the underlying characters of nougat, wafers and oatmeal with the subtle frangipani floral hints in the background. The palate is medium bodied and tightly coiled, again displaying pears, nectarine and tangy citrus flavours. The wine offers a fine-boned structure complemented by a lovely creamy mouthfeel derived from lees stirring. Refined yet complex, the intense fruit and racy acidity combine to focus the wine perfectly to a crisp, lingering fruit finish.