‘Wide Open Road’, a 1986 hit for Western Australian band The Triffids, is the perfect soundtrack for the drive south from Perth to Margaret River. The sheer scale of the place is awe-inspiring – all the more so when night falls and an infinite tapestry of stars is revealed. By day, the vivid colours of the landscape make a British visitor feel like they’ve stepped from a black and white movie into Technicolour.

Located some 5 miles inland of Redgate Beach, in the heart of the Margaret River region, is Leeuwin Estate. It was the towering waves that drew Leeuwin’s founders Denis (a keen surfer) and Tricia Horgan here in the 1970s. Aside from surfing, ‘Margs’ was best known at the time for logging and dairy farming, but with the encouragement of Robert Mondavi – who was in no doubt of the potential of its terroir – Denis and Tricia established what would come to be, within a few decades, one of Australia’s most acclaimed wineries.

Margaret River’s climate is, frankly, pretty heavenly – for both humans and grapes. It’s broadly Mediterranean, with temperatures moderated by the Southern and Indian Oceans, which meet at Cape Leeuwin (30 miles south of the estate). What makes the terroir at Leeuwin Estate truly unique is the Boodjidup Brook, an ancient watercourse that has carved a succession of rolling hills today blanketed with coppices of giant karri, marri and peppermint as well as vineyards. Numerous grape varieties thrive in these conditions, most famously Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, but also Riesling and Shiraz.

Today marks the UK release of the latest vintages of the Art Series, the pinnacle of Leeuwin’s extensive (and uniformly superb) range.

Stannary is extremely proud to represent Leeuwin as UK agent and we had the privilege last week of playing host to CEO (and daughter of Denis and Tricia) Simone Furlong. During a masterclass at our Kennington HQ and sumptuous dinner at London’s Brigadiers restaurant, Simone presented not only the new releases but back vintages including the 2013 Chardonnay and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon which provided glorious proof of the Art Series’ capacity to age.

The centrepiece of any Art Series release is the iconic Chardonnay, and the precision and concentration of the 2020 – worthy, quite simply, of a Burgundian Grand Cru – mark it out as one of the most exquisite Art Series Chardonnays to date. But we are equally excited about the 2019 Cabernet, 2020 Shiraz and 2022 Riesling.

The aristocratic Art Series Cabernet has long been a standard-bearer for cool climate, New World Cabernet. Art Series Shiraz – a perennial favourite of no less an authority than Jancis Robinson – is, in our book, one of the best value Fine Wines produced anywhere on the planet. Looking for an elegant, nuanced yet vibrant Syrah to lay down for a decade (or enjoy sur le fruit in its youth)? Then look no further. Art Series Riesling, meanwhile, is a wine of incredible tension and freshness – again, it will only improve with age and, again, it represents tremendous value for money.

As ever, these new releases pay homage to the Horgan family’s love of art, with a striking set of labels based on artworks by Australian artists.

Will Heslop • Italy Buyer

See below the new releases available.