2018 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Shiraz Australia

  • 96pt Powerful Australian Cab
  • Crocodile Dundee's Favorite Wine
  • Singular Artist Label
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About The Wine

Leeuwin Estate is a family-owned producer and one of the five founding wineries of the Margaret River district of Western Australia. The winery is currently under the direction of two generations who work with a team of highly skilled winemakers to consistently produce wines ranking alongside the world’s finest. In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker Robert Mondavi, identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine and provided early mentorship to Denis and Tricia Horgan in the transformation of their cattle farm into Leeuwin Estate. Following its first commercial vintage in 1979, Leeuwin was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1981 “Art Series” Chardonnay. The international accolades have continued and Leeuwin now exports to 30 markets. Celebrating the combination of fine wine, food, art, and music, Leeuwin features an award-winning restaurant, cellar-door, and art gallery. The Estate is renowned for staging spectacular events and welcoming visitors from around the world.

Leeuwin Estate releases wines under the Art Series, Prelude Vineyards, and Siblings labels. The “Art Series” represents Leeuwin’s most opulent and age-worthy wines and is distinguished with paintings commissioned from leading contemporary Australian Artists. Prelude Vineyards wines are made from fruit that produces the most readily expressive wines with the objective that they will drink well soon after release. The Siblings label celebrates the family lineage and the three generations now leaving their footprints on Leeuwin Estate. They all share a place amongst the great wines of Australia, receiving much international acclaim and attention. Leeuwin’s Art Series Chardonnay and Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon are included in the wine auction house, Langton’s, prestigious classification.

Aging: 18 Months in 30% New French Oak

Tasting notes: 97% Shiraz and 3% Malbec. A concentrated nose featuring red currants, black cherries, and dark chocolate. Higher notes of rose, violets, cinnamon, and anise are positioned subtly in the background. The palate has vibrancy and vitality that is balanced by depth, intensity, and volume. Red and blue fruits alternate through sweet oak, ripe chalky tannins, and an energetic acid structure.

Reviews

The same layers of complexity and spice as the 2017, with all the ripe fruit and power hallmarks of the 2018 vintage. Bouncy and chewy, the tannins are woven into the fruit. Fruit, oak, acid and tannins are integrated and elegant, showing cohesion and harmony from the get-go. Cool-climate elegance is the lasting impression of this wine, as is the fine, chalky tannin profile that ultimately carries the fruit over the course of the palate. Very detailed. Margaret River can be responsible for seriously beautiful shiraz - this is one. ~96 James Halliday

Ripe and plush wine showing lovely, spicy plum fruit aromas. There’s even a little red fruit, confectionery character with a dollop of dark chocolate and liqueur. With sweet fruit concentration and grainy, chalky tannins. Really well-integrated palate with a long finish. I think this might be better than in 2016. It’s like the 2012 and the 2014 but with greater weight and palate density. This is a super wine. ~96 Western Australian Wine Guide (v. 2017)

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 flavors. ~95 James Halliday (v. 2017)

From a cooler year, white pepper, rosewater and cardamom bring levity to nose and medium-bodied palate, along with precise and focused mineral acidity - a Leeuwin signature. The 3% of dense, rich, tannic Malbec accentuates the bright plum and red berry freshness of the Shiraz. Fermented with 20% whole bunches and aged in 600-liter French oak barrels, the fine fretwork of tannins anchors the fruit and lingering spice flavors. ~93 Decanter (v. 2017)

Perhaps the best vintage of this wine I've yet tasted, the 2017 Art Series Shiraz reveals the progress Leeuwin Estate has made with this grape, which is often neglected in Margaret River. It's strongly peppery - a reflection of the cool vintage - but that element is balanced by succulent blueberry and intriguing licorice notes. Full-bodied and supple on the mid-palate, it finishes with a touch of tannic backbone and bright, mouthwatering acids. ~92 Wine Advocate (v. 2017)

This has a very vivid core of red plums and mulberries with very nicely fitted oak and spice. The palate has a wrap of sturdy tannin and silky texture at the edges. Fresh, red-fruit flavors hold the finish long. Drink or hold. Screw cap. ~92 James Suckling (v. 2017)

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