Thursday, April 26, 2012

Leeuwin Cabernet Sauvignon

Leeuwin Estate is sometimes described as a one trick pony, with its world-class Chardonnay. The winery is trying very hard to bring the other Art Series wines to a similar standard. In a recent tasting (I gave my impressions of the Chardonnay a few posts below) it did not start well. I found the 2011 Riesling as well as the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc too sweet. Some would say they were aromatic (87/86 points).

The main attempt, though, has been made with the Cabernet Sauvignon. It has been said that they turned the corner with the 05. The 2005 was at this tasting, as well as the 2007 and the 2008, which will be released in September.

The 2005 Leeuwin Cabernet Sauvignon did not disappoint. It had generous blackcurrant and quite lifted flavours. The wine is quite intense, yet elegant, with a big mouthfeel. No Margaret River greenness in this wine at all (93 points).

The 2007 Leeuwin Cabernet Sauvignon is slightly leaner, which is interesting, given the warm vintage. The tannins are silky. This equally elegant wine finishes with more acidity on the backbone (93 points).

The 2008 Leeuwin Cabernet Sauvignon is lighter than the other two, yet the elegance is impressive. Blackcurrants dominate, but the palate drifts slightly into leafy territory. The wine is still very young and needs to settle a bit (92 points).

These Cabernets are certainly a cut above earlier years. The 'dirty' earthiness of those wines has disappeared. The flavour profile is more in the Moss Wood than Cullen style. If you rate those wines AAA, then Leeuwin, with these Cabernets, is achieving AA or AA+.

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