Leeuwin Estate is one of Australia’s leading producers. Based close to Cape Leeuwin, in the southern reaches of Margaret River, Western Australia, this remote estate is best known for its Art Series wines.
Denis Horgan bought the land that would become Leeuwin Estate for cattle grazing, but Robert Mondavi visited the property in 1972 and identified its potential for producing fine wine. It was early days for Margaret River, with the first vines planted in the region only in the late 1960s. The Horgans – Denis and his wife Tricia – took Mondavi’s advice, however, and the first commercial vintage was produced in 1979, with Mondavi consulting on the project. The 1981 Art Series Chardonnay was highlighted by Decanter magazine and suddenly the estate had an international reputation.
There have been accolades aplenty since, and today the estate’s Art Series Chardonnay is one of the top “Exceptional” wines in Langton’s Classification and one of the “Heritage Five” wines – Australia’s most groundbreaking wines. The property is still owned by the Horgan family – with Denis and Tricia’s children, Justin and Simone as joint CEOs – and the wines made by Tim Lovett. They have 50 hectares of vines.
Its top wines are the Art Series (all of which carry individually commissioned artworks on their labels, inspired by Ch. Mouton Rothschild), while it also has Prelude and Siblings labels designed for earlier drinking. The estate is best known for its Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and especially its Chardonnay.
The Art Series Chardonnay is fermented and aged (for 12 months) in 100% new oak, with no malolactic fermentation, preserving precise acidity in the wine. It’s a world-class expression of the grape that ages beautifully.