2012 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $50)

SKU #1286107 97 points James Suckling

 This is the Mouton-Rothschild of Australia - with a screw cap! Incredibly complex aromas of blackcurrants, spices, cigar box, and berries. Full body, a fantastic palate and polished tannins. Goes for minutes. Better in 2017.  (3/2016)

96 points James Halliday

 The headline, the main text and the footnotes all say one thing and one thing only: purity. And I suppose I should add elegance. They simply don't come better in this mode.  (10/2016)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "Dark ruby red with a black core. Vibrant and concentrated fruit aroma of abundant blackcurrant, dark cherries and mulberry. Beneath the lifted aromatics of anise, cocoa, clove, black olive and earthy wild field mushroom provide elegant layers to a highly expressive and complex nose. Structure and fruit weight work harmoniously on the palate, characterized by a dark fruit core of blackcurrant and forest fruits. Savoury spices of dried sage, cassia bark, and tobacco gives subtle texture, and combines with diligent oak integration and a fine acid line. All components arrive to a finish featuring slightly chalky cocoa powder-like tannins. 2012 was an exceptional vintage for Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon. Summer temperatures were above average but with very few hot days, the afternoon sea breeze always a welcome cooling influence. The weather was consistently fine, warm and sunny with little rain. A Margaret River powerhouse, the Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon is made in a long lived style due to its ample fruit and sturdy frame. Often described as 'Bordeaux like' the core of the fruit comes from 30+-year-old vines grown in well-draining gravel/granite derived soils. The Art Series range is identified with paintings commissioned from leading contemporary Australian artists."

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Price: $39.99
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Product Reviews:

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By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/6/2017 | Send Email
I could go on and on about this magnificent wine. For the sake of brevity I'll focus on just a few of its qualities so you can click the “Add to Cart” button to the right of your screen before our inventory is depleted. In the glass is an intoxicating bounty of dark fruits, tobacco, cassis, clove and a hint of eucalyptus. The first sip seduces the palate with black currant, black cherry, warm baking spices and well integrated oak. The acidity is lively, the alcohol level respectable (13.5%), the tannins present yet gentle and the finish perpetual. This wine exudes purity, elegance and finesse. Now click that button.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/3/2017 | Send Email
My personal barometer for Margaret River Cabernet in any given vintage. This is a benchmark wine with immense pedigree and impeccable consistency. I can absolutely see why one might compare it to First Growth Bordeaux. Not just on the exceptional quality of this release, but on the merit of Leeuwin Estate's unwavering dedication to excellence year in and year out to produce authentic wines that faithfully reflect the season and magical terroir of Margaret River. I feel obliged to mention Leeuwin's entirely pragmatic choice of Stelvin closure. They believe (as do I) that this is the best and most consistent seal for the wine to effectively preserve all the hard work they put into crafting it. The silly myth about not being able to cellar wines under screwcap has been thoroughly debunked long ago and I will be enjoying this wine from my cellar for decades to come.
Top Value! Drink from 2017 to 2037

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2017 | Send Email
The majestic wines of Leeuwin are such a pleasure to consume, we often forget how special they are, whether the reason be the screw top or their limited availability. The potential of Margaret River on full display here, with incredible depth matching stupendous freshness. This is what Cabernet is all about. The wonderful deep dusty cassis fruit, the eucalyptus, the high grade fresh tobacco leaf, fancy leather imply a powerful. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is that it achieves such depth and complexity, a full bodied experience while remaining elegant and somehow demure. Not bombastic, but a completely encompassing experience nonetheless.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/2/2017 | Send Email
This may be the most elegant Cabernet Sauvignon in the store from outside of Bordeaux, and gives most of even them a run for their money. The Leeuwin Art Series from Margaret River has very fine currant aromatics framed by an almost pencil lead like mineral component. The wine has perfect texture, medium body and resolved, fine tannin. This would be perfect with filet mignon tonight, or keep for quite a long time in your cellar.
Drink from 2017 to 2032

By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/1/2017 | Send Email
Year after year I find myself increasingly impressed by the value and overall quality of this wine. Robust, age-worthy, structured - the wine has it all. It's a classically styled Aussie cab, brimming with notes of tomato leaves, dried herbs, licorice, dark fruit and spices on the finish. In the early 1970s the estate was identified by none other than Robert Mondavi (presumably as a prospective buyer) as a premier site for high quality wine production and this bottle is evidence that he was absolutely correct.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River

Alcohol Content (%): 13.5