WINERY OF THE MONTH - LEEUWIN ESTATE
Now that it's (almost) February we can announce our first tasting and Winery of the Month....Leeuwin Estate.
We thought we'd kick off the year with a tried and tested WA brand. The important role Leeuwin Estate played in helping to establish Margaret River as a great wine region is often not fully acknowledged, so we'd like to unpack this with you and bring you up to speed with what is one of our favourite brands.
It all started when Denis Horgan, the owner of a Margaret River cattle-grazing property, persuaded Robert Mondavi, a distinguished and experienced Californian wine producer, to enter into a joint venture aimed at developing great wines from grapes produced on his land. The employment of John Brocksopp as viticulturist and Bob Cartwright as wine maker proved fundamental to the development of the exceptional quality of the Leeuwin Estate wines.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Margaret River focused its reputation on Cabernet Sauvignon given the Wilyabrup region is so ideally suited to growing this grape variety.
While the spotlight was on Cab Sauv, Leeuwin Estate was busily making Chardonnay. The terroir and cooler climate further to the south was found to provide a natural home for Chardonnay, however the refined wines made from this variety by Leeuwin Estate took time to become fully appreciated by the public. The rise in appreciation of Leeuwin’s top-of-the-range Art Series Chardonnay eventually became so pronounced, that this wine is now regarded as one of the most outstanding Chardonnays in the WORLD! James Halliday regards this Arts Series wine as the finest example of Chardonnay in the country.
The second-level Prelude Chardonnay that we are featuring this month is also outstanding and represents remarkably good value. This wine is characterised by an attractive combination of fresh peach and citrus flavours backed by balanced french oak and lovely, long finish.
Although Leeuwin Estate is often mainly associated with its exceptional Chardonnays, the quality of its Prelude Cabernet Sauvignon and two tiers of Shiraz have increased so conspicuously during the last few years, we think that they are among the top wines produced from these grape varieties in Margaret River.
Furthermore, the attractive fresh lemon, lime and apple flavours of the Leeuwin Estate Riesling has ensured that this wine continues to be one of WA’s most popular Rieslings.
Overall, the stamp that Leeuwin has made on the Australian wine industry is quite remarkable and we can safely say that they are one of the true pioneers of Margaret River and deserve a lot of the kudos for making it the world-renowned region it is today.
Leeuwin Estate wines, including the Siblings, Prelude and some of the Art Series range, will be on special all month long as our Winery of the Month, kicking off with a tasting at Old Bridge Cellars Como this Thursday and North Fremantle this Friday between 4pm - 7pm! Come join us for a belter and pick up some astounding wine.