We are delighted to present this triple release from the much-lauded Leeuwin Estate in Western Australia. Having only taken on the agency in July 2020, we were a little late releasing the 2017 Chardonnay, but this merely served to heighten everyone’s appetite for the iconic wine and we sold out almost instantly. The 2018 is another stellar vintage and, whilst we have secured a little more stock this year, we fully expect it to be another instant hit and sell out quickly too.
Alongside Leeuwin’s feature wine, we are also offering two highly sophisticated reds, which were looking very exciting when we tasted them recently via the power of Zoom, with winemaker, Tim Lovett.
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.
The other important element in the continued success of the estate is the wonderful team who have remained in place over the decades. In 45 years, they have only had three winemakers, the latest of which is Tim Lovett, who has been there since 2010. Surrounding themselves with great people and investing in top equipment has very much been their philosophy since day one and Simone sees no reason to change that approach.
The vineyards have now reached a good age (the oldest are now 46) and the maritime climate that they enjoy allows for extra hang-time, which helps develop complexity, flavour and intensity, without making the wines too rich. The maritime influence from both the Southern Ocean and, more importantly, the Indian Ocean, cannot be overstated, bringing a cool climate angle to a warm, Mediterranean climatic environment. The freshness and linear aspects that this influence creates is both critical and delightful. In fact, it could be argued that the three wines we are offering today bear more resemblance to Burgundy, the Northern Rhône and Bordeaux (left bank) respectively than they do to most of their homegrown peers. If you don’t know these wines and you think you know Aussie wines, then think again and take a couple of cases. You will be mightily impressed, and perhaps not a little surprised.
These wines will be shipped in May/June 2021.