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..."
This achieves another step up the quality ladder for Leeuwin Estate, seemingly impossible. There's been no change in the vinification, nor in the vineyard. The change is an increase in the intensity of the flavours, and hence their length and aftertaste. It's an extraordinary wine, among the greatest of Burgundy (and elsewhere in the world). Whatever you expect from its future development will be delivered.
99 points, James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion (Aug 2020)
Opens rich and lush, with grilled pineapple, ripe pear and fleshy apricot flavors. Details of mineral, lime skin and Meyer lemon add a fresh thread of acidity and a sense of precision, finishing with a note of sesame seed. Drink now through 2030. 800 cases imported.
96 points, MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator (Aug 2020)
Such complexity and resolve make for a very attractive nose with peaches, grapefruit, cedary oak spice, gunflint and wet stones. The palate has a plush, smoothly resolved texture with a rich, creamy texture and all-encompassing, ripe stone-fruit flavors, ahead of a very long, smooth finish. Grilled-hazelnut and apricot-kernel flavors to close. Great to drink now, but certainly a decade of cellaring in the tank, too. Screw cap.
96 points, James Suckling (Apr 2020)