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Leeuwin 'Art Series' Latest Releases: 2018 Chardonnay & Shiraz, 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon

One of the top domaines in Australia and indeed the world, Leeuwin Estate have recently released the latest vintages of their 'Art Series' label.   At the pinnacle of quality and with a new artist designing the labels each year, James Suckling described a previous vintage of the Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon as 'the Mouton-Rothschild of Australia - with a screw cap!'.  

Among these new releases is the 2018 Art Series Chardonnay, which may be their greatest vintage to date.  Scoring 97 points in Decanter Magazine, we can't wait to see what the other major critics make of it when they taste it.

The 2018 Shiraz and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon are yet to be rated by the critics, but winemaker Tim Lovett has focused increasing love and attention on these reds, with the intention of equalling the ratings for the Chardonnay.

The cask samples which arrived with us back in the depths on an English February were like waft of cool air from the Indian Ocean (which is less than 5km from the estate).  No matter how many times we taste the Art Series, we are still taken aback by their classicism and freshness.  Tasted blind, we could easily place them in Burgundy, the Northern Rhone and Bordeaux.  Only their opulence points to Western Australia's Margaret River region.

What we noticed above all when tasting these the samples was just how much sheer pleasure and enjoyment the Art Series wines offer.  Capturing all of the finesse and elegance of their old world counterparts, there is still something exuberant about these wines which makes them particularly compelling for the summer ahead.

As ever, allocations are extremely limited, so please let us know straight away if you would like to secure some.

You will also find below some library stocks of older vintages of Leeuwin.

Offered pre-landing, available for delivery from July 2021.

Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, WA

Producer Profile

Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, WA

Denis Horgan established Leeuwin Estate in 1973, with the express intention of producing world-class wines.  One of the flagship wineries in Margaret River, 280km south of Perth, Leeuwin has also put itself on the map as an open-air concert venue with its own art gallery. 

Each Art Series release features a work by an Australian artist, earning it the sobriquet 'Australia's Mouton'.  Art Series Chardonnay was voted the greatest white wine in the world by Decanter magazine as far back as 1982.

Head winemaker Tim Lovett has been in charge since 2010 and has been working hard to bring the red wines up to the stellar level of the Chardonnay.

The Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon vines are planted on free-draining gravel soils, reminiscent of the Haut-Médoc.  The wine itself reminds us of a Pauillac or St-Julien, with a cool, balanced style.  Despite spending 23 months in 30-50% new oak, the effect is a balanced wine with structured tannins which will age for 20 years or more.  The Art Series Chardonnay spends 11 months in oak, but still has a fine line of acidity and minerality placing it firmly in a cool climate in any blind tasting.  

RED 2015 4 cases Leeuwin Estate - Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 75cl £420 per case of 12 Leeuwin Estate
2015 / 4 cases / 75cl
£420 per case of 12
IB
RED 2016 12 cases Leeuwin Estate - Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 75cl £420 per case of 12 Leeuwin Estate
2016 / 12 cases / 75cl
£420 per case of 12
IB
RED 2017 5 cases Leeuwin Estate - Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 75cl £408 per case of 12 Leeuwin Estate
2017 / 5 cases / 75cl
£408 per case of 12
IB
RED 2017 6 cases Leeuwin Estate - Art Series Shiraz 75cl £220 per case of 12 Leeuwin Estate
2017 / 6 cases / 75cl
£220 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes“Open and closed fermenters with 20% whole bunches, plunged/pumped over daily, pressed to new and used barrels for a total of 18 months in oak. Deep, bright purple-crimson; after early (10 years±) hesitation about the synergy that might be gained from this marriage of wine and place all doubts were comprehensively answered. Lovely medium to full-bodied blackberry and co flavours". 95 points - James Halliday
RED 2018 2 cases Leeuwin Estate - Art Series Chardonnay 75cl £660 per case of 12 Leeuwin Estate
2018 / 2 cases / 75cl
£660 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"2018 was something of a dream vintage in Margaret River. Flowering was good and consistent, summer was warm but not excessively hot and the vines stayed healthy and clean, allowing the harvest to begin a fortnight earlier than it had done in 2017. This wine was 100% new oak barrel-fermented (Bordeaux coopers for a finer grain), bringing texture rather than oak influence to the blend. In the mouth it expresses the vintage’s natural richness, but it also feels like a coiled spring, bursting with life but with so much more to come, given time. The balance is impressive, with a real zing and drive and the layers of fruit have depth and significance. Great potential here and yet another superb vintage for this wine. Drink from 2024." Importer's note.------"THE ICON From an excellent vintage – warm, with very few hot days – this muscular yet lithe Chardonnay suffuses the senses with Leeuwin Estate's clear and penetrating signature perfume of granular pear and fleshier fresh fig. Harmonious lemony acidity makes for an ultra-long, seamless finish, through a palate of acacia, lanolin, smoke and crème patisserie. The concentrated fruit effortlessly mops up the 100% new oak. A luminous, graceful and balanced powerhouse. Drinking Window 2021 - 2038. 97 points." Sarah Ahmed, Decanter Magazine, Feb 2021
RED 2018 5 cases Leeuwin Estate - Art Series Shiraz 75cl £222 per case of 12 Leeuwin Estate
2018 / 5 cases / 75cl
£222 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"Since Tim arrived at the winery a lot more attention to detail has been focused on the red wines and the quality of juice now being produced is outstanding. Tim is a huge fan of this varietal and a firm believer of its great potential in the Margaret River. The cooler nights, inspired by the maritime influence, bring a lift and a fragrance to the wine, which remind one of northern Rhône examples of this variety. Around 20% whole bunch is used, further adding lift and energy. The oak is a mix of new, I year and 2-year old barriques. This is a very stylish, refined wine of both depth and precision. Astonishing value. Drink from 2024." Importer's note.

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