Since Tim Lovett arrived at Leeuwin Estate, as winemaker, a lot more attention to detail has been focused on the red wines and the quality of juice now being produced is outstanding. Tim is a huge fan of this varietal and a firm believer of its great potential in the Margaret River. The cooler nights, inspired by the maritime influence, bring a lift and a fragrance to the wine, which remind one of northern Rhône examples of this variety. Around 20% whole bunch is used, further adding lift and energy. The oak is a mix of new, I year and 2-year old barriques. This is a very stylish, refined wine of both depth and precision. Astonishing value.
Drink from 2024.
Leeuwin Estate was born in the early to mid-70s when founders Denis and Tricia Horgan, decided to plant vines on their cattle ranch, a few miles in from the coast in Western Australia’s Margaret River, a few 100 miles south of Perth. It has proved to be an inspired decision and with Robert Mondavi on hand to give advice and guidance in the early days, they hit the ground running. Within a couple of years of their first vintage (1979) they were winning both plaudits and awards worldwide. Their Art Series Chardonnay became one of the most must-have wines of Australia almost overnight. Fast forward 40 years and their daughter, Simone Furlong, now runs the winery, maintaining the estate’s enviable position at the top table of Aussie wineries. It’s interesting listening to Simone talk about those early days when her parents were starting out, as she feels that perhaps it was their lack of experience in the wine industry that gave them their open-minded, fresh approach to the whole project, which allowed them to break new ground and set higher bars. They were amongst the first to plant Chardonnay, using various Burgundian clones, in an area more familiar with Bordeaux
varietals and what a great decision that was.