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Leeuwin Estate

www.leeuwinestate.com.au

Stephens Road, Margaret River, 6285

Cellar Door: Daily (10 - 5)

Ph: (08) 9759 0000

Leeuin Estate
The entrance to Leeuwin Estate's cellar door

Leeuwin Estate is one of Western Australia's flagship wineries with the Art Series Chardonnay widely acclaimed by many wine judges as Australia's finest Burgundian-style Chardonnay.

The winery was established in 1974 by leading viticulturalist Stan Heritage with the assistance of the State Department of Agriculture.

It is now a very tourist focussed operation with a classy restaurant and a program of legendary concerts by international performers in the estate's music bowl. The vines are based on loose gravelly soils that produce good wines but are extremely low yielding (hence the high prices).

Apart from the Art Series Chardonnay the best whites have been the Prelude Chardonnay (part of the the second tier of wine that would have pride of place almost anywhere else), and sometimes the Art Series Rieslings and the tangy,floral Art Series Sauvignon Blancs. The reds are good, particularly the smoky Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon in warmer vintages, but expensive./p>

The new budget range for the retail market in the Siblings range

rest outside
Leeuwin Estate Restaurant balcony (photo: genxywines)
rest
Leeuwin Estate Restaurant (photo: genxywines)
Leeuwin Estate Bowl
Leeuwin Estate Music Bowl
tasting area
Leeuwin Estate tasting area (photo: genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

New reviews

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2014

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink:  2018

(GXY) Tasting:: Dec 2015,  modestly perfumed, rounded lime, lemon barley and apple with some white flower and citrus blossom notes, chalky finish with bright lemony acidity and reasonable length (***1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2011

Purchased: Not ($92)

Drink: 2026

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, elegant with a succulent, vibrant core of white nectarine, lemon sherbet, grapefruit and melon with a touch of pineapple and mealiness, finishes savoury with integrated creamy vanilla/cinnamon oak and some wet pebble, good persistence and balance (*****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2024

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2014, fragrant and concentrated redcurrant and cassis with musk and violet notes, some bay leaf and tobacco complexity, succulent and medium-full bodied with graphite minerality, creamy milk-chocolate/mocha/cedar French oak, vibrant acidity (****1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($89)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2013,  floral and powerful with good fruit purity showing white peach, melon, pears and lemons, focussed creamy palate with biscuit nuances, good cut of grapefruit acidity, well integrated toasty almond-cinnamon oak with some wet slate minerality on the finish, not as complex or long as the best vintages but still a very good wine that will develop further in the cellar (****1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2012

Purchased: Brunswick Liquorland ($26)

Drink: 2013 or 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2012, perfumed and rounded green apple, lemon sorbet and lime with jasmine and citrus blossom florals, chalky with crunchy lemon acidity, better drive and line than usual (****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($89)

Drink: 2017+

(GXY) Tasting:  Nov 2012, powerful, perfumed and handsomely oaked style, yellow pear skin, nashi pear, pineapple and lime curd , rich creamy and biscuity lees inputs, tangy grapefruit acidity with fine chalky minerality, long and focussed with roasted cashew-vanilla -cinnamon oak on the mealy finish, this is a big white that will be best drunk in winter (*****)

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($A30/$NZ35)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2012, bright and tangy lime, melon and lemon curd with fig and apricot kernel notes, keeps a good line, leads into nicely integrated toasty cinnamon/hazelnut/vanilla oak, fresh grapefruit acidity (****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($89)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, vibrant yellow pear skin, nectarine, melon and lemon curd with an undercurrent of creamy lees, tangy grapefruit acidity with pronounced chalky minerality, long and focussed with cashew-nutmeg-cinnamon oak on the mealy finish, classy as ever but a touch more austere than recent vintages apart from the 2006, needs time to flourish (*****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, from their coldest ever vintage, light-medium bodied (13%) and leafy red cherry and cassis with violet, sage, firm powdery tannins with nervy acidity and complex lightly charred nutmeg/roast coffee/ pencil shavings/clove oak inputs, one of the more successful efforts from this most challenging of vintages has a delicate, slightly green elegance but lacks enough concentration to score higher (****)

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($33)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, attractive second tier showing lemon curd, pear and pineapple with honeysuckle and fig nuances, some barrel ferment texture with cashew-vanilla-cinnamon oak and racy grapefruit acidity (***1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($37)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, spicy medium bodied palate showing red cherry, mulberry and boysenberry with mint leaf and white pepper notes, seems to have relied on heavy extraction to build fruit weight which gives the palate some unexpected firmness and blockiness, the spicy nutmeg/vanilla/bitter choc stays in the background (***1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010

Purchased: Not ($33)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, an experimental cellar door release (the usual crisp SBS release is in the Siblings range), this is 100% barrel fermented, creamy, soft and chalky lime, passionfruit and honeydew melon with a light touch of asparagus, gentle talcy finish, designed to be food friendly (presumably matched to something specific in their restaurant) but as a general drinking wine it lacks enough drive (***)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2010

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: July 2011, fresh and spicy pear, apple and lime with jasmine florals, sweet spices and a touch of musk, as usual it becomes fairly broad but shows some vibrant powdery lemon/lime rind acidity (***)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Purchased: Not ($32)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2010, much in the vein of the consistently high performing releases since 2004, elegant and tightly controlled with moderately grassy and spicy lime, passionfruit and lychee with nettle and asparagus nuances, builds intensity down the length of the long palate, crisp rather than zesty citrus rind acidity (****1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2007

Purchased: Not ($96)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: July 2010, richly flavoured and complex showing nectarine, melon and grapefruit with a touch of mango reflecting the warm vintage, the long palate also shows leesy meal and spicy cinnamon/vanilla/grilled nut oak notes intertwined with the chalky minerality, seems a bit more open structured and developed at this stage than some of the best vintages but is still a very good wine as befits its flagship reputation (****1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: July 2010, a little lighter and more delicately structured than recent vintages, green apple and lime with soft chalky texture, the racy grapefruit acidity gives this some extra focus and drive although continues to lack genuine length (***1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($34)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: July 2010, open-fermenters, 20% whole bunch inclusion, medium bodied core of spicy mulberry, plum and liquorice and cracked black pepper, a little forward, sweet cedar/vanilla/chocolate French oak, sappy finish with some vegetal notes, fine but savoury tannins (***1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($95)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, a classic vintage for arguably Australia’ s finest “White Burgundy” style of Chardonnay, the record cold vintage has brought added tautness and racy acidity although there is some added malo to hold the balance, very complex, seamless and long showing nectarine, honeydew melon, white peach and grapefruit with cinnamon, clove and mealy notes on the creamy/leesy mid-palate, flinty chassis of minerality, my only question is the current overtness at the moment of the toasty cashew-sandalwood oak but I presume the wine-maker made this for an even longer haul than normal given the vintage (*****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Not ($34)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, fragrant, smoky and cedary with deep and brooding leafy blackcurrant, boysenberry and redcurrant with a touch of baked plum on the bouquet, medium-full bodied with a firm backbone of gravelly tannins, spicy vanilla-cedar from the French oak, long cellaring life and will benefit from a decent decanting if drunk younger (****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2008

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, generously flavoured apple, pear and lime with a touch of passionfruit, loose knit talcy minerality with fresh grapefruit acidity, good length but loses some of its linear focus (***1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2007

Purchased: Not ($34)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, rather broad melon, pineapple and grapefruit with cinnamon, nut biscuit and honeysuckle features, the confectionary and buttery palate is rather too dependent on the sweet and spicy oak, a bit below its normal form as one of Australia’s best second tier Chardonnays (***1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2004

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, smoky, medium bodied and savoury redcurrant, plum and cassis with eucalypt and olive notes, lifted spiciness on the plump mid-palate, infused with handsome minerality and dusty tannins although there is some sappy greenness to the acids (***1/2)

Leeuwin Estate Classic White 2008

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, summer quaffer from a range of unspecified varieties, grassy and chalky passionfruit, mandarin and lemon sherbert with a touch of tobacco, crisp and dry finish shows lemon and green apple acidity (***)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Purchased: Safeways, St. Kilda, Vic ($32)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: April 2008, lively for the region, up front gooseberry, melon and passionfruit flavours leads to tangy and juicy tropical fruit, fresh snowpea and capsicum aspects later on, refreshing lemon acid and mineral finish (****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne: ($85)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: April 2008, highly fragrant and complex nose showing quince, stonefruit, apricot and melon flavours, up front sweet pineapple with a seamless palate build-up to crescendo of dried pear, honeydew melon and lemon butter creaminess with subtle bacon influences, flinty minerality with acid and spicy toasty cashew-sandalwood oak, a national benchmark (*****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2006

Purchased: Safeways, St. Kilda ($27)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: April 2007, lovely orange blossom and lime nose, taut palate shows lime, green apple with a touch of mandarin, crisp palate with chalky minerality, refreshing acids, good length (****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Purchased: Not: ($51)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: April 2007, firmish palate showing blackberry, cherry and mulberry with tobacco and herbaceous green bean notes, rather assertive lightly smoked cedar and coffee oak features don’t fully mask some cool vintage greenness (****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not: ($85)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2007, pre-release tasting, complex nose showing quince, stonefruit, pear and melon flavours, seamless build-up to crescendo of dried pear, honeydew melon, and minerality, lemon butter creaminess with subtle bacon influences, well balanced with spicy toasty cashew oak (*****)

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: CruBar, Fortitude Valley, Queensland ($29)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, assertive flavours of dried pear, melon, nectarine and butterscotch, slightly honeyed palate also is nutty with bacon malolactic ferment features, well integrated with vanilla oak (****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2004

Purchased: Not: ($25)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, lifted floral and orange blossom nose, restrained but focused palate with lime, mandarin and flinty features, chalky finish (****)

Leeuwin Estate Prelude Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, assertive flavours of dried pear and butterscotch, lively but butter and bacon maloloactic ferment is well integrated with vanilla oak (****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2003

Purchased: Not ($85)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, rich bouquet of quince, lime, pear and melon, the initially restrained palate builds up seamlessly to a climax of dried pear, honeydew melon and minerality, creamy with subtle bacon influences, well balanced with toasty oak, justifiably the benchmark for Chardonnay if you can afford the price (*****)

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Purchased: Not ($51)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: March 2006, firm blackberry and mulberry nose with tobacco and herbal notes, intense but velvety palate also shows dark cherry and chocolate features, lightly smoked cedar oak and drying, grainy tannins (****)

Leeuin label