B-21 Top Recommendation
It all happened by luck, to hear the story of Leeuwin Estates as told by owners Denis and Tricia Horgan. Denis, who loved to surf, and was an accomplished accountant who specialized in mergers and acquisitions received a call from a friend one night. Turns out the owner of what was then Western Australia's largest high rise plumbing company was quite ill and looking to sell his business, one which also included a beautiful cattle ranch in Margaret River. Denis and Tricia visited the Margaret River ranch and bought the entire operation – that was 1969.
A few years later, another call – this time someone was looking to BUY Denis and Tricia Horgan's place in Margaret River. That someone was Robert Mondavi. Long story short, the Horgans and Mondavi became partners – Tricia would never sell, to hear the story. Mondavi masterfully mentored the Horgans, from varietal selection to vineyard placement. All I want, he would say, is for this place to turn out world-class wines. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Leeuwin Estate – named for that immortal Cape – produces one of (if not the) most important Chardonnays in Western Australia. James Halliday (Australia's most well-respected wine critic) tells us, "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..." Their 2016 is a work of art – in a very long line of such successes....
Straw-green in colour and powerful from the outset. Pure, juicy pear, white peach, sparks of spice, cedar wood and wood smoke. The flavours trigger each other, the finish then a powerful sling out and onwards. Its beauty is entirely worthy of admiration. Exactly where the power stops and the delicacy starts is difficult to tell, though it seems to happen at some point, even if the wine's insistence never lets up. The quality march of Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay is relentless.
98 points, Campbell Mattinson, Halliday Wine Companion (Aug 2019)
Refined and elegant, this white is supple, yet intense and precise, with lemon curd, apricot, honeycomb and mandarin orange flavors, accented by floral and mineral details. The secret weapon here is the sleek acidity, which weaves in and out, giving the flavors definition and verve. Drink now through 2034. 800 cases imported.
96 points, MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator (Oct 2019)
#28 - Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2019