Why Not Wednesday with Leeuwin Estate
This week we are heading to the famous Margaret River district of Western Australia. Rebecca Brown, second generation of Leeuwin Estate will be in store to quench our thirst! Family owned, Leeuwin Estate, one of the five founding wineries of the area, is 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. Enjoying its first commercial vintage in 1979, Leeuwin was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1980 “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, cellardoor and art gallery. The Estate is renowned for staging spectacular events and welcoming visitors from around the world.
Leeuwin Estate is a class act, every facet of its business working with the precision of a Swiss watch. It stands at the very forefront of estate-based, family owned wineries…
A History of Margaret River
Noongar people lived in natural balance in the area for at least 50,000 years. Artefacts and remains dating back to around the same time have been found in the Devil’s Lair cave, located just out of Margaret River.
Early pioneers, the Bussell family lived at Ellensbrook House in 1857 then moved to Wallcliffe House in 1865. Wallcliffe House was the principle residence of Wallcliffe Estate covering land between Cowaramup and the Donnelly River.
Margaret River town was gazetted in 1913 and the 1920’s Group Settlement Scheme caused a swell in the population and development. Dairy farming was well established around the 1930’s and began to thrive in later years. There are legends of surfers visiting from the 1920’s, however surfing didn’t rise to eminence until about 1961. Margaret River really got on the map in 1969 when the Australian National Titles were held. Surfers then flocked to the region and with the emergence of the wine industry there was an abundance of casual employment to sustain them (but they’d only turn up if the sea breeze was in!!).
During the 1960’s Dr. Gladstones identified the area as a potential premium wine region. Then in 1967 cardiologist Dr. Cullity planted the first commercial vineyard at Vasse Felix. Hot on the heels were Moss Wood, Cape Mentelle, Cullens and Sandalford wineries that opened prior to 1972. Shortly after Leeuwin Estate along with twenty more wineries opened in the 1970’s with twenty more in the 1980’s, and the industry just kept growing from there.
Leeuwin Estate releases wines under the Art Series, Prelude Vineyards and Siblings labels. The “Art Series” represents Leeuwins most opulent and age-worthy wines and are identified with paintings commissioned from leading contemporary Australian Artists. Prelude Vineyards wines are made from fruit producing the most readily expressive wines, with the objective that they will drink well soon after release, whilst the Siblings label celebrates 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. Leeuwins Art Series Chardonnay and Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon are included in wine auction house, Langton’s, prestigious classification. And with that here is what we will be sippin’…
Art Series Riesling $18 Sale $16
Lifted and bright with great clarity, the nose expresses cut limes and lemons. Subtle notes of kaffir, lemongrass, jasmine and fresh sesame seed lie in the background. Defined by a finely structured palate with delicate texture and sherbet-like acidity, the palate shows lemon pith, lime and cardamom pod.
Sibling Shiraz $18 Sale $16
Lifted, bright and briary, the palate expresses dark black cherries, blueberries and mulberries. Chocolate, caramel and anise surround the fruit spectrum with elevated floral notes of rose and subtle violets. Plushly textured, the palate has concentration with boysenberry and redcurrants present. Black cardamom, anise and clove sit in balance providing complexity. It is integrated and finely woven with subtle sweet oak, a delicate acid line and chalky structural tannins.
Prelude Cabernet $32 Sale $29
The bouquet shows great density, ripe concentrated blackcurrant, anise, black cardamom and lifted lavender with hints of black olives and plum aromas. The entry on the palate is soft and succulent whilst displaying a subtle texture with a black core of fruit including boysenberry, dark cherries and olive tapinade. The tannin and acid are seamlessly integrated from the front through to the long and lingering finish.
Prelude Chardonnay $32 Sale $29
The nose is bright and concentrated with subtle complexity, featuring lime, golden pear and white peach. Aromatic sweet spices of cinnamon and nutmeg with deeper tones of sesame, cashew and nougat provide depth and layers. Elevated jasmine floral notes enhance the purity and varietal expression. Definitively modern Leeuwin Estate Chardonnay; the palate exudes vibrancy with delicate textures. The intensity of pear, lime and lemon across the palate is threaded with a finite acid spine that is laced with spice and savoury notes, leading to a seamless and elegant finish.
Wines will be on special until June 20th