Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River
New Releases from the Art Series Collection
Pre-Release : ETA August 2022
Today marks the long-awaited UK release of new vintages of the Art Series from Leeuwin Estate, one of the undisputed ‘First Growths’ of Australian wine. The Art Series represents the pinnacle of the estate’s production – and continues to set the gold standard for Western Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Riesling and, most famously, Chardonnay.
Since its inception in 1969, Leeuwin has spearheaded Margaret River’s ascent from obscurity (in the Sixties, ‘Margs’ was best known for logging, dairy farming and, by surfers, for its epic left-hand breaks) to the top tier of global wine growing regions. The ambition of founders Denis and Tricia Horgan was fed not by hubris or naivety, but by their belief in the potential of the terroir here – a belief based on studies by viticulturalists including Dr Harold Olmo of UC Davis – and a healthy dose of the ‘can do’ attitude that has shaped much of Australia’s winemaking history.
Today’s release encompasses three high-quality vintages, notably 2019 (for the Shiraz and Chardonnay). A cold, wet winter in ‘19 delayed flowering and replenished the estate’s dams. Flowering took place in pristine conditions, with clear blue skies and cool nights which persisted until after Christmas. Further rain at the end of January revitalised the vines, and accounts in part for the scintillating freshness of the 2019s. Riesling was the first varietal harvested in the final week of February; Chardonnay followed in early-March, and the reds from mid-April.
Yet to be sampled by international critics, the 2019 Art Series Chardonnay has garnered rave reviews from the Australian wine press. It was awarded 98 points by Erin Larkin (Halliday Wine Companion), while Ray Jordan awards 99 points and comments, the 2019 ‘will rank up there with the best to date.’ Jordan’s review of the ‘effortlessly graceful’ 2019 Shiraz was equally glowing. These two 2019s are released alongside the vibrant 2021 Riesling, and Cabernet from the outstanding 2018 vintage.
In October, we announced of the results of the ‘Judgement of Napa’ tasting. This extraordinary event held in California, invited guests to taste twenty great wines (ten Chardonnays and ten Cabernet Sauvignon/blends) in a blind tasting. Leeuwin Estate 2018 Art Series Chardonnay was included in the Chardonnay bracket, alongside Premier Cru/Grand Cru Burgundies and leading Californian Chardonnays – the line-up was impressive and super-expensive.
The 2018 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay was ranked in 1st place, topping the Chardonnay tasting for both tasting panels, comprising some 35 public tasters and eight wine experts, which is an extraordinary achievement and firmly placed this wine as one of the world’s greatest Chardonnays. In light of this, last year’s offer met with enormous demand and we expect even greater interest this time around.
Please can we ask you to checkout separately with your Leeuwin pre-release wines as these will be shipped or transferred when the stock arrives with us in August. If you wish to order other wines for immediate delivery, please complete a separate order for these and we’ll process these as usual.
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2019
£77.95 per bottle
Only 72 bottles remain
£750.00 per case of 12 in bond
Only 7 cases available
99 points - Ray Jordan, WinePilot.com "In many ways the most Burgundian of any of the Leeuwin releases, this will rank up there with the best to date. There’s a waxy light mealy aroma which picks up nuances of limestone and spice with a trace of grapefruit. But it is the palate that really distinguishes it. There is an austerity with the minerally chalky feel that cuts through the fruit extending to a finish of extraordinary length. Precision and focus harness a wine of great power and poise before dry savoury edges lift the finish.”
98+ points - Andrew Caillard MW, The Vintage Journal "Preservation of pristine fruit characters through vinification and maturation remains at the heart of winemaking. This of course starts in the vineyard where observations, reaction and mitigation of environmental patterns are key to vineyard management practices. The vineyard blocks have a north facing aspects and the rows run in an east-west direction. The morphology of the Gingin clone sees the berries ripen differently. The smaller berries usually possess slightly higher sugars and acidity. Vintage takes place in mid-February to early March and the grapes (about 2-3 kilos per vine) are hand-harvested when they have reached a point of ‘energy, bone and pop!’ This translates to intense pure fruit aromas, richness of flavour, fine al dente textures and fresh indelible acidity. These are the hallmark qualities of Gingin clone chardonnay. I have often wondered at the clone’s provenance and passing resemblance to Meursault. Pale colour. Intense lemon curd, grapefruit, peach, tropical fruit aromas with underlying roasted cashew/ hazel nut notes. Lovely grapefruit, lemon curd, tropical fruits, fine persistent chalky textures, attractive mid plate volume and fresh long indelible acidity. Finishes al dente, with savoury oak note. Still elemental but wonderfully balanced with the fruit density and torque to last the distance. Now – 2036."
98 points - Erin Larkin, Halliday Wine Companion "Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay on release is an achingly painful thing to drink, because once you've known the utter pleasure these wines bring at 5 or more years of age, it becomes a mess of cognitive dissonance to drink them so young. They are closed, taut, coiled, but more than anything, populated by rippling fruit that undulates untold through the interminably long finish. They typically don't reveal their kaleidoscopic spice and prismatic fruit flavour until a little further down the track. So, all I can humbly do here, is place the vintage in context. Through the lens of the cool year, this glitters with a purity and finesse that is deeply attractive. Aligned in style with the 2017.”
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz 2019
£29.95 per bottle
Only 63 bottles remain
£260.00 per case of 12 in bond
Only 7 cases available
17.5 Points - Tamlyn Currin, JancisRobinson.com "This smells so good: fresh black pepper (so fresh it’s like peppercorns straight from the drying mats). Deep, delicious, meaty sweet fruit. Violets, daphne with a blue-purple-fruited lusciousness and yet the wine is, at the same time, dry and savoury. Grounded yet ethereal. Determined yet open. Muscled tight yet fluid. Extraordinary ying-yang balance of opposite but complementary forces."
96 points - Ray Jordan, The West Australian "A 20 per cent inclusion of whole bunch fermentation has played a strong hand in elevating this beautiful example of the quality of the 2019 vintage. It has such life and vibrancy and that is largely due to that whole bunch inclusion. Brilliant, bright colour with hues of crimson and purple on the fringes. The palate is in that medium zone, with an effortlessly graceful ease about it. Spicy and perfumed with a mix of cherry and plum. Oak, which is a mix of one, two and new oaks, is brilliantly managed to gently coax all that is good from this variety. Love the mouth feel and the long, focused chalky feel in the mouth."
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
£45.95 per bottle
Only 32 bottles remain
£420.00 per case of 12 in bond
Only 7 cases available
17.5 Points - Tamlyn Currin, JancisRobinson.com "Truly elegant in every way. One sip of this wine and I can feel its beauty. It has a pure-fruited translucency and the whisper of pine needles, a mint-cold freshness, tannins reaching long, tenacious, slender from top to bottom, embedded through the fruit. A wine with a sweet heart, taut purpose, exquisitely formed clarity."
95 Points – Gary Walsh, The Wine Front “Dense, nutty, a bit minty too, tight and controlled, with blueberry and cassia bark perfume. Silty smooth tannin, texture is a highlight, a distinct ‘mineral’ sort of character, something of a hazelnut toffee flavour, mid-weight and sure-footed, such a wonderful nutty chew to it, red and black fruits and a long persuasively tannic finish. Excellent.”
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2021
£23.95 per bottle
Only 45 bottles available
£210.00 per case of 12 in bond
Only 3 cases available
Incredibly vibrant and expressive on the nose with layers of lemon flesh, lime juice, apples and grapefruit at the forefront. Elevated and lifted notes of lemon myrtle, sweet jasmine, kaffir lime leaf, coriander seed and sea spray promote the purity and clarity.
Lively and concentrated palate with focus and finesse. Cut lime and lemon zest meet with minerality and a tightly coiled acid structure. A saline thread is evident throughout with delicate and textural layers towards the crisp and talc-like finish.