Few stories can be told about modern Australian wine without mentioning the amazing rise of Margaret River, and Leeuwin Estate as a pioneer. Founded by Denis and Tricia Horgan in 1979, it is the star estate of Margaret River's southern area; with a particular pedigree in its famed Chardonnay, but also relatively recent acclaim for Cabernet and Shiraz.
The Siblings label celebrates the family lineage of Leeuwin, with three generations of the founding family now leaving their footprints on the Estate. The 2017 vintage is comprised of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon.
Winter of 2016 was characteristically wet, with August experiencing a recent rainfall record with 228 mm - resulting in a significantly higher than average annual rainfall total. Chardonnay was the first variety to burst in late August, followed by the Riesling and Cabernet through September. Spring was generally milder and experienced slightly more rainfall than average.
Flowering in all varieties was delayed 10 days as compared to 2016, with this period generally sunny, resulting in excellent set across most varieties. Summer was mild with few hot days, and veraison occurred 3 weeks later than in 2016. Harvest commenced in the Riesling in the last week of February, followed by Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the first weeks of March. A later than usual, but nonetheless excellent vintage.
The grapes were picked in the cool of the night by machine and immediately drained and pressed. The juice was settled and then racked off gross lees. The juice was warmed and inoculated with selected yeast and fermented in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures. A smaller percentage (20%) was fermented in second and third use Bordealaise coopered French oak barriques. After fermentation, the individual parcels were blended, fined, cold stabilised and bottled.
A fragrant and perfumed nose with white peach blossom and jasmine, elevate the primary fruits of kiwi, lychee and lime. Beneath subtle notes of Thai basil, cardamom and chamomile offer delicate complexity. The palate is subtly textured and nicely balanced with woven layers of finger lime, passion fruit, lemon and nectarine. There is a degree of brightness that runs through the mid palate with sherbet-like acidity leading to a fine and slightly chalky finish.
In 1972, Denis and Tricia Horgan contacted famous American winemaker Robert Mondavi to help them with their plans to turn their cattle farm into a highly respected Margaret River wine producer. The winery enjoyed its first commercial vintage in 1979. Since that time the Horgans and Leeuwin Estate have made an astounding contribution to Australian wine, most particularly with their Art Series Chardonnay that is still widely considered to be amongst the best this country produces. Recent vintages have also seen their Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon also jump ahead leaps and bounds. Today Leeuwin Estate is also very well known for the excellent concerts held on their grassy knoll directly below the cellar door which draw thousands of visitors every year.
NED GOODWIN - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
This gets a fair bit of love for the entry cuvee, with 30% of the blend barrel fermented in second and third pass barrels coopered in Bordeaux. The result is a seam of tangy citrus and tropical fruit notes, with an undercarriage of garden herb, lemon grass and tonic. What's not to like?'