2011 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $50)
This is really a gorgeous bottle with subtle black currant, berry, spice, chocolate and cedar undertones. Full body, integrated tannins and a long and beautiful finish. So perfect now. Better in 2016. But why wait?
Makes a fist at effortlessness. Supple blackcurrant and choc flavours glide into bay leaf and clove. Mid-weight but juicy. Builds a good amount of momentum as it rolls through the mouth. Shape, mouthfeel and length. Elegance is its middle name. Should mature well.
Inky ruby. Powerful smoke- and spice-accented aromas of ripe dark fruits, cured tobacco, vanilla and cedary oak, all lifted by a suave floral topnote. Stains the palate with concentrated cassis and cherry-vanilla flavors, with zesty acidity and a strong suggestion of peppery spices giving the wine lift. At once rich and lithe, this Cabernet finishes with strong thrust, a touch of smoky minerality and harmonious shaping tannins. (JR)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Art Series has a fragrant nose of crushed blackcurrants, blackberries and dried Provence herbs with hints of black pepper, cedar, menthol and undergrowth. Medium-bodied, it has a great core of muscular, youthful fruit with grainy, approachable tannins and a refreshing herbal lift to the finish.
Lovely cassis character, really fresh and tight and bright, fine tannins and a red-fruit sweetness on the palate and just a slight leafy note. Bright and zesty but with a ripeness that gives a rounded, luscious character. (17+/20 points)
Whilst some parts of Australia had a troublesome vintage in 2011 (one of the coolest and wettest on record for South Australia / Victoria) the region of Margaret River, on the south western edge of this vast continent enjoyed yet another stellar year, with some folks even celebrating it as a potential classic! If this cracker from Leeuwin Estate is anything to go by I'd say they aren't wrong; this is quintessential Margaret River Cabernet showing exactly why this is THE ultra premium region for world class Bordeaux varietals in Australia if not the entire southern hemisphere. This iconic estate sits on a prime piece of land originally identified by none other than Napa valley's own Robert Mondavi as a place with great potential for growing Cabernet! (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L Aussie Wine buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "The 'Art Series' represents Leeuwin’s most opulent & ageworthy wines from each vintage. The 2011 Art Series Cabernet shows a concentrated dark fruit spectrum with an abundance of ripe blackcurrants, cherries and a hint of cassis. Coffee bean, dark chocolate and black olives lie beneath. Subtle dustiness combines with a seductive violet lift, enhancing the varietal fragrance and increasing complexity. A dense and layered palate with incredible texture. The generosity of the palate is carefully laced with a fine and structural acid line. Dark cherries and currants weave through smokey and mocha notes, finishing with long tactile tannins."