Coonawarra and Margaret River Cabernets
Leeuwin Estate, Art Series , Margaret River 2008
Decanter average score: 18.5pts/20 (95/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: RJ 18.5 PM 18.5 AR 18.5
No Cabernet in Margaret River has been more dramatically transformed over the past decade than this. Once a style of clunky oak, assertive tannins and haphazard ripeness, a complete makeover in the vineyards has produced more even ripeness and permitted earlier harvesting to capture the hallmarks of the variety, elevating this wine to its rightful position alongside the estate’s famous Art Series Chardonnay. Leeuwin’s Art Series philosophy is to represent its finest, most ageworthy wines, and its Cabernet now confidently meets this brief.
RJ Fresh sea breeze nose. Liquorice and a lovely intensity of berries, dried raspberries and vanilla. Lovely, young vibrancy to this, which gives a perfect texture in the mouth and long aftertaste. Happy to drink this now, but it will age; the fruit keeps coming back and tantalising my taste buds.
PM Deep and bright. Lovely purity and freshness, elegantly toasty. Fleshy, sweet fruit, beautifully balanced and fine, subtle, understated yet intense, and highly drinkable. A very classy style.
AR Leafy aroma moderated by astutely judged vanilla oak adds roundness and a degree of complexity to the juicy cassis fruit flavours which are etched with bright acidity in almost Bordeaux cru classé mode. Excellent.
Price £33–£37 Domaine Direct, Secret Cellar, WoodWinters
Judges: Roger Jones, Pierre Mansour and Anthony Rose