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History

Leeuwin Estate is one of the founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district.

In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, first 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 who founded Leeuwin Estate in 1974. The initial vineyards were planted by hand over a five year period from 1975. 

Featuring state-of-the art facilities, the winery building was opened in 1978, celebrating with a trial vintage. Leeuwin enjoyed its first commercial vintage in 1979, and was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1980 "Art Series" Chardonnay in an international blind tasting.

Maintaining a team of highly skilled and dedicated winemakers, Leeuwin Estate is now under the direction of two generations of the founding family.

 

©Leeuwin Estate

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Vineyards

Leeuwin Estate, an iconic producer of premium wines made from grapes grown in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, recognises that its environmental responsibilities are of significant importance to its staff, suppliers, customers and the local community.

As a family business the Estate is committed to managing the environmental effects of its operations through responsible stewardship, with the aim of maintaining a sustainable environment for future generations. To accomplish these goals Leeuwin Estate applies best practice standards for environmental management in all facets of the business.

The Margaret River district features pristine white sandy beaches, spectacular coastline and amazing surf. It is surrounded by majestic karri forests, is nestled within picturesque farmland and enjoys a balmy temperate climate.

Complemented by fine restaurants, art galleries and boutique luxury accommodation, Margaret River has spawned one of the world's most dynamic and innovative wine tourism industries.

Located in the South West of Western Australia, approximately 280 km south of Perth, Leeuwin Estate enjoys a unique environment that is highly complementary to the production of high quality varietal wines.

Less than 6 km from the ocean, Leeuwin Estate is approximately midway between Cape Naturaliste to the north and Cape Leeuwin, Australia’s most southwesterly point.

The area between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin is one of the most ancient parts of the world. It became isolated when the continental crust split leaving a 100 km sedimentary basin between it and the mainland. Today the basin contains some of the world’s largest mineral sand deposits.

This granitic island, where the Leeuwin vineyard is located, has weathered over millions of years and now provides us as vignerons with the ancient free draining gravel soils, which are highly complementary to the culture of the vine, as well as promoting great finesse in the wine.

Leeuwin’s rainfall is dictated by the “Roaring 40’s” which move north in our winter and south in our summer, with the oscillation of the earth. 85% of rainfall is therefore received during the cooler six months.

With oceans on three sides only changing water temperature by two degrees between summer and winter, the district has its own microclimate. Leeuwin’s vineyards are therefore protected from extremes of temperature and are frost-free during the critical spring growing period.

The mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures during the summer season are very similar to those of Bordeaux. The significant difference however is that our season opens slightly earlier and closes slightly later, providing us with greater latitude to ripen our fruit, whilst also accommodating earlier ripening varieties such as Chardonnay.

In all, the weather conditions in an “average” year in Margaret River equate to those that Bordeaux only enjoys occasionally in “great” years.

 

©Leeuwin Estate

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10 different wines with 42 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Tamlyn Currin, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  4 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  22 wines 

Torres Mas La Plana 2017 / One of two Penedès reds in the Familia Torres Antologia range (their top five Spanish wines). Tasted from a 37.5-cl sample bottle. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from parcels planted in 1961, 62 and 63 in the middle of the DOP. The first vintage was 1970. The vineyard lies between two rivers, which means that there are two very different soils in the vineyard. On the upper side, a warmer soil, poorer, less organic matter resulting in more concentrated smaller berries, smaller bunches, more tannins, more concentration. The lower side has more alluvial, sandy soil, and the vines are bigger, the berries are bigger, there is less tannin, less concentration, more fruit, more freshness, more acidity. Overall it has a very diverse, deep soil with many layers, moderate water-holding capacity, high calcium carbonate and moderately coarse texture. They have been slowly changing their approach here, with a lot of focus on regenerative viticulture: ‘One of the important things about Torres is the curiosity’. Building wildlife corridors, bird and insect boxes, bee hives, livestock grazing during winter, horse ploughing, natural ponds and the use of electric tractors. They’re making massive investments in building the microbial life of the soil and organic matter. Vintage 2017 was a ‘strict’ year – very dry especially at the end of spring and they had to work the canopy carefully to protect the grapes form the sun. A blend of Cab Sav plots, picked at different times and vinified parcel by parcel. They use oak fermenters for small tannic bunches and stainless steel for the bigger bunches. 15-25 days of skin contact. 18 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. pH 3.4, TA 5.6 g/l. They now use much less new oak, and use bigger containers (foudres of 1,000 to 3,000 litres).
Rich yet refined. Wears its oak like a royal musketeer wears his cloak. Flair and flare, daring and drama but real grace. Muscular yet nimble on its feet. Dark, dark fruit loaded with gunpowder and smoke. Incredibly elegant, despite the power and bravado. You could not get anything more Spanish yet unequivocally Cabernet Sauvignon. 

2m 19d ago

 Erin Larkin, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  14 wines 

CHATEAU MARGAUX 2017 / 89% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot/ 100% new oak. Red currants, succulent and intense, also sweet… great harmony and choral resonance… I realise I’ve drifted off in my own thoughts with this wine… the flavour lingers so. This is BDX, it is the best wine we’ve had today (this week/month etc) and it is the reason why we seek to make and drink better wine. Holy crapola.

4m 5d ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  6 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  29 wines 

Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 / 98 points  – The first boutique winery in Australia was Lake’s Folly in the Hunter Valley. Naturally, its wines quickly became ‘must-have’s’ for those few early wine-obsessed drinkers, who helped drive the transformation in the industry from ‘fortified dominant’ and ‘big producers only’ to what we enjoy today. There were others. Stuart Anderson’s Balgownie Estate was a winery where winelovers lucky enough to be on the mailing list would plead for a bottle or two. So too, Mount Mary. Virgin Hills, anyone? From the West, nothing personified ‘cult’ like Moss Wood. 


These days, some have risen and fallen. Others have stayed the course. We have wineries like Wendouree, Giaconda, Torbreck, Cloudburst, Bindi, Clonakilla and others. Indeed, just what makes, and what is, a cult winery today might make a terrific topic. Over to you, editor? 


Moss Wood. It might have been the famous 1982 and 1983 Cabernets from Cape Mentelle which really put Margaret River on the map, but the wines everyone wanted came from the tiny Moss Wood. It would be fair to say that it has had a few ups and downs over the years but in recent vintages, it has been right on its game, especially with its flagship Cabernet Sauvignon. 


Put simply, if you love Cabernet, whether it be from Bordeaux, the Napa, Margaret River or anywhere, Moss Wood Cabs should be on your radar and in your cellar.


The latest, the 2018, continues its recent run of hot form. 92% Cabernet, 4% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, it comes from a year the Mugfords, the caretakers of this wonderful estate, claim is a cracker (well, my words but you know what I mean). To be honest, claims of a great year in Margaret River tend to fall on deaf ears. When isn't it a great year there? The day a MR winemaker tells me they had a shocker, that is when I’ll listen.


One sniff of the black/purple liquid swirling in your glass and you know you are looking at a world class Cabernet. Blackfruits, mulberries, cedar, cigar box, coffee beans, dark chocolate. A wine with balance, intensity, elegance and astonishing length. The silkiest of tannins. A sweet core of floral notes and dark berries. The construction is immaculate but not in any way constraining. Sensational stuff. 


Sure, at around $150 a bottle, it is not cheap but compare it with the big guns from the Napa or First and Second Growth Bordeaux, against which it sits comfortably, and this is a steal. 


I looked at this last night and gave it 97. Today, it is an easy 98. Tomorrow? I’ll never know. 98.

9m 13d ago

 Thomas Girgensohn, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  26 wines 

Guigal La Mouline is always the more feminine wine of the three, and this is true for the 2015 La Mouline. The grapes come from 100 year old vines with very low yields. This Shiraz includes 10% Viognier, and the wine is matured for two years in new oak. There is no whole bunch included. This wine without doubt was the wine of the night. Fragrant, opulent, fresh, elegant, velvety, pure, silky, spicy; this comes to mind rather than any fruit descriptors. This full-bodied wine has incredible length and stays with you for some time (98 points). 

1y 3m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  26 wines 

Opus One 2008 / Deep ruby, youthful, cassis, coffee, blueberries. Softer texture, feels very elegant even as it is so young, fresh acidity, ripe tannins, balanced, long length. 94

1y 10m ago

 Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  25 wines 

Henschke Hill of Grace 2004 / 100% Shiraz grapes from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early settlers in the mid-1800s and grown in the Eden Valley wine region. Matured in 100% new French (50%) and American (50%) hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling.
Slightly greyish but deep garnet. Intensely sweet dark cassis fruit plus some cedary leafy notes. Rich and smooth and really plush, generous and silky but also very moreish and juicy. pH 3.6, TA 5.7 g/l,

2y 2m ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  60 wines 

Australia Wine Day 2019 gave a good insight from what is cooking in Wonderland Oz in DownUnder! Fascinating wines from Orange, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Margaret River. Some classics from Barossa like Grange 2011. Ashton Hills charmed with its Pinot Noirs, especially with the Reserve 2018 - absolutely delicious Burgundy-like pinot! Penley Estate impressed with its silky smooth and elegant red wines, and great label design! Among the exciting experiences were An Approach to Relaxation and Ten Minutes by Tractor, and many more. The best whites of the day were still the Margaret River Chardonnays, especially Leewuin Estate with its Montrachet-flair!

2y 3m ago

 Guido Walter, Wine Importer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  11 wines 

Philipponnat Clos de Goisses 1998 / 94 points / Its grape-varieties are predominantly Pinot Noir, with the rest planted exclusively in Chardonnay. Always a vintaged wine, it is vinified according to the tradition upheld by generations of cellar masters and aged for almost ten years in the Philipponnat cellars which are excavated out of chalk. A powerful robust wine with a pronounced taste and lengthy finish.

2y 11m ago

 Thomas Girgensohn, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  17 wines 

It is not often you have an opportunity to taste Chinese wine in the west. Yet, China is the sixth largest producer of wine in the world. Production has been pushed very hard, in particular in the western Xinjiang province. There is now a surplus of Chinese wine, as consumption is still focused on the major cities, where the wealthy prefer imported wine, anyway. And these companies are not well equipped to export their product either.


Broadly speaking, there are three major regions. The coastal region, where vine growing has been going on for a long time, the middle region, and Xinjiang in the west. While the focus is on Xinjiang, conditions are difficult there. The winters are very cold, and the vines need to be buried. This is very labour intensive.

3y 18d ago

 Matteo Cali, Sommelier (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  6 wines 

2015 Ten minutes by Tractor Coolart Road Pinot Noir Mornington Peninsula. On the appearance it looks pale ruby with a hint of garnet on the edges. On the nose it is very fragrant and pronounced. It shows a primary fruit character focus on red fruits such as ripe Cranberry and ripe strawberry cherry and red currants secondary aromas of
Cinnamon cloves and nutmeg. Some tertiary aromas started to emerge : games, tobacco, savory notes, dried prune. On the palate it is dry and has high acidity with low tannins,  thought hey are very ripe,  the wine has an high level of alcohol and is a medium in body.
The finish is long on the palate,complexity and structure of the wine make this Pinot Noir outstanding.Tasted in 2018 8/10

3y 7m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  31 wines 

2009 Shea Willamette Valley Shea Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir:
Ruby. Red berries, fruity, rich, intense, oaky notes, not easy to see the grape influence here. Freshish acidity, ripe tannins, rich and ripe and then very oaky, edgy oaky on the palate, good length. 89points

3y 10m ago

 Stuart Robinson, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Leeuwin Estate . In a tasting of  15 wines 

Turkey Flat White Blend 2015  /A blend of Marsanne (63%), Viognier (19%) and Roussanne (18%).Scents of white florals, suggestive stonefruit and of a little vanilla creme patisserie.


Honeyed nuances, a little nougat, under-ripe mandarin segments; zest and gentle spice. Early - judicious - picking has given a line of acid about which layers of texture hang, like mille-feuille of flavour and mouthfeel.



Good length, carried about acid, a little toastiness. Enough about it to make it one to both seek to consume and to savour. 91

4y 9m ago

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