2014 Leeuwin Estate "Prelude" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (Elsewhere $28)

SKU #1390993 92 points James Halliday

 This is very good Cabernet, medium-bodied and extracted with a judicious feel for varietal personality: currant and a verdant lift, underlain with black olive and bay leaf skirting across cabernet’s tannic fiber. This is massaged to the tune of mid-term drinkability, without sacrificing the wine’s structural mettle.  (8/2018)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Leeuwin’s characteristic elegance and approachability, combined with ageability, are in full force here. Trademark pencil lead, eucalyptus and red currant characters mingle with dried flowers, herbs and furniture polish. The tannins are dusty and tight-grained, with an herbaceous currant flavor continuing throughout. *Cellar Selection* (CP)  (4/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator

 There’s plenty of density and structure here, with a smooth, velvety quality to the notes of plum, blueberry and five-spice powder. Chai tea and graham cracker crust details linger on the long, expressive finish. (MW)  (12/2017)

91 points James Suckling

 Lovely fresh assortment of fruit, such as raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants and blueberries, and just a hint of some herbs from beneath. Medium-bodied with such freshness and polish. Structured tannins, really zippy acidity and a chewy finish.  (8/2018)

K&L Notes

Notes from the Winery: The Prelude Vineyards label focuses on the benchmark varietals of the region and represent the first release Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Leeuwin Estate each vintage. They are site expressive wines that encase the purity and clarity of fruit with a style that is readily expressive for earlier release. The label celebrates the Estate's association with the musical arts through the staging of the alfresco Leeuwin Concert Series. Variety: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot Alcohol: 13.8% Cellaring Potential: 10-12 years 91 pts The Wine Front: "Formerly known as Prelude Cabernet Merlot. It’s still a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) and Merlot (10%). In a good place. Well balanced and styled. Blackcurrant, gum leaf, dark chocolate and olive tapenade notes. Just enough tannin, flavour and length." (CM, 08/2018)

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Price: $19.99
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By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/11/2019 | Send Email
Easy, accessible Cabernet that's a great intro to the Margaret River. Grabbing a $20 dollar bottle of good juice is a much easier way to appreciate the area than the forty-two hour drive from Sydney so pop the cap and enjoy!

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/10/2019 | Send Email
Winter is Cabernet season and this Aussie Cabernet from the southern hemisphere will bring the warmth. The Margaret River area of Western Australian is renowned for making polished Cabernet Sauvignon and Leeuwin is one of the area’s finest producers. There’s plenty to like about this wine above and beyond the amazingly low price. The weight and richness reminds of Bordeaux but the fruit is all Australia. There’s a bouquet of dark berries and flowers on the nose followed by a brooding mélange of delicious Cabernet fruit on the palate. The only thing this wine leaves you wishing for is another sip. At $20 per bottle, drink up.

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/10/2019 | Send Email
Leeuwin Estate has always been known for outstanding quality, and the 2014 vintage of Prelude is no exception, and for the 20 dollar price point, I don't think you can do a cab better than the Prelude. The earthy, and sometimes graphite/mineral driven notes are rather present in this particular vintage, but that's exactly what I want when I'm drinking a cab. I grew up in Napa where cab is king and I've had my fair share of many, up to the point where I cabbed myself out, and honestly it's always refreshing to taste what Australia has to offer, for once I'm excited about cab again, and Leeuwin Estate is a big reason why.

By: Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/10/2019 | Send Email
This entry level Cabernet from easily one of the top producers in the region showcases the exceptional quality and impressive value of wines coming out of the Margaret River Valley. The trademark minerality and silty earth tones are ever present, accompanied by lush, dark berries and a bright, peppery finish. It is consistently difficult to find such polished, expressive cabs for under $20, but Leeuwin has pulled it off once again.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2019 | Send Email
Prelude gives off ripe aromas of a dark berry medley, dusty black peeper, heady floral notes, and herbaceousness. The palate has a beautiful balance of fruit and spice with deep cassis flavors mingling with black pepper and cardamom, structured with restrained tannins. Leeuwin always makes their Prelude Cabs with the intent that they be drunk earlier rather than later, and this vintage is definitely ready to go now.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/4/2019 | Send Email
From one of the top wine estates in Margaret River, the Leeuwin "Prelude" Cabernet Sauvignon is the yardstick by which the varietal should be measured. The site for Leeuwin was sought by Robert Mondavi and declared to be a premier location for growing Cabernet and Chardonnay. Leeuwin has taken advantage of this unique terrior where the Indian and Southern Oceans collide to produce wines of elegance and depth. The Prelude Cab is one of their first to be released each vintage and comes across as approachable and fresh. With the quintessential herbality characteristic of the area, this wine also exhibits red and black fruits, dusky tannin, and polished structure. While the "Art Series" Cabernet is a very special wine, this is a fantastic, affordable choice for a weeknight.
Top Value!

Additional Information:


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.


- 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.

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River