“The Mouton-Rothschild of Australia”
James Suckling scored this 2012 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 97 points calling it a “a truly excellent wine.” Indeed it is, to put this score into context, from the same 2012 vintage he also awarded 97 points to Opus One ($400), Grace Family ($400), Abreu Madrona Ranch ($600), Colgin Cariad ($550) and Screaming Eagle Second Flight ($800). Suckling calls Leeuwin Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon “the Mouton-Rothschild of Australia,” a fitting tribute for one of the world’s truly great Cabernets — on par with Napa’s finest. The past four times we’ve offered a Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay — Wine Spectator’s top Chardonnay in the world in 2013 — our allocations have sold out in a flash. Today, 2012 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon promises to vanish just as quickly. Selling elsewhere for $65, we have 48 cases of this stunning low-yield Australian First-Growth for just $50 per bottle.
Denis and Tricia Hogan established one of the founding estates of Margaret River, planting their first vines in the region in the early 1970s. In 1972, an American wine legend — Robert Mondavi — reached out to the Hogans to inform them that they had terroir capable of producing world-class wines. With the help of Mondavi’s close mentorship, Leeuwin was founded in 1973, and within years it would become the benchmark for excellence in the country, racking up dozens of 90+ scores. The winery burst onto the international stage when Decanter magazine awarded its highest honors to the 1980 Art Series following a blind tasting.
The “Art Series” wines are the richest and most age-worthy from Leeuwin’s collection, showcasing the site’s terrific pedigree. Rising roughly 200 feet above sea level, the vineyard benefits from deep, mineral-rich, gravel soils, lending finesse to the wines, and a cool maritime climate. The Leeuwin team, under the direction of Tim Lovett, pick by individual parcels, allowing the vines to achieve maximum ripeness. In 2012, Leeuwin produced what may be its freshest, most well-balanced Cabernet yet. If you want to know what a Left Bank First Growth would taste like if cultivated on the wild coast of Oz, don’t hesitate to hit “Buy” today.
Adam Lapierre MW