See Decanter expert's rating, tasting notes and drinking window for Leeuwin Estate, Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River 2008.
Leeuwin Estate, Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River 2008.
Decanter average score:
Individual judges’ scores: Roger Jones 18.5 Pierre Mansour 18.5 Anthony Rose 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
Leeuwin Estate was founded by Denis and Tricia Horgan in 1969 and is located in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. In 1973, Denis met an American who was also interested in buying land in the area, ‘to produce high quality varietal wine’. The name meant nothing to Horgan at the time, but the American man was Robert Mondavi, the late ‘Grand Old Man’ of American wine. Their partnership lasted until 1983.
Horgan’s instinct about his land proved correct: the first vines he planted included the Chardonnay patch known as Block 20 – his ‘golden acre’ (1.8 hectares) – which still produces the grapes that form the backbone of the Art Series Chardonnay. This wine is regularly named as one of Australia’s best Chardonnays.