Leeuwin Estate is one of the founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district.
In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, first identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine and provided early mentorship to Denis and Tricia Horgan who founded Leeuwin Estate in 1974. The initial vineyards were planted by hand over a five year period from 1975. Maintaining a team of highly skilled and dedicated winemakers, Leeuwin Estate is now under the direction of two generations of the founding family.
Classical pear skin, lime and white peach fruit spectrum defines the nose, amidst sweeter notes of nougat, sesame brittle and brioche. It is concentrated and complex with subtle fragrant jasmine and savoury flint and wet stone. A tightly directed palate, yet with enviable length. Woven layers of lemon curd, cut lime and grapefruit pith penetrate throughout the palate with a distinctive mineral thread. Delicate oak use presents gentle complexing notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and hazelnuts.
It was almost inevitable that if a West Australian white wine was ever going to score 99 points, it would have to be Leeuwin Estate’s Art Series chardonnay. After much deliberation, a vertical tasting of previous greats from the estate and reflection on my tastings over the years, I convinced myself the recently released 2015 justified the score. There have only been three white wines I have awarded 99 points, two rieslings made by the great John Vickery in the 70s, and a Hunter Valley semillon, so the Leeuwin is in rarefied air. The latest iteration is a mighty wine that carries the indelible stamp of power from its famous Margaret River source vineyard, Block 20, but there is a new degree of delicacy and precision. And perhaps even more extraordinary is that the length on the palate, always the hallmark of great wines, has pushed new boundaries. Rating: 99 Points; Ray Jordan; The West Australian
Balance is born - my favourite wine mantra, and 2015 is exquisitely balanced from birth. 2015 Art Series is a rare wine that shows immense presence and a flirtatious edge to its character. Matthew Jukes
Pear, honey biscuits, some lime, aniseed, and firm cedar and spice oak, though it’s not overdone. Full-bodied, glossy texture, some white flower perfume in with pear and melon, ripe lime acidity and flavour, toasty wood in the mix, and a very long powerful finish, dusted with fine oak tannin and citrus zest. Kind of emphatic in style, but potent too, and while that’s true enough, I’d also say that this wine is becoming more refined and stylish, and the drinkability is on the rise too. Anyway, it’s a very good release. Alcohol: 14%; Price: $110; Closure: Screwcap; 2019 - 2030+; Rated: 96 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front
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