2015 Leeuwin Estate "Prelude" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $28)

SKU #1428871 93 points James Halliday

 9% malbec included here, and I think it has it's say. There's ample classic Margaret River cabernet character for sure, and some vanilla and chocolate, but there's an (attractive) sappy raspberry/mulberry nuance in the bouquet and palate that's a little different. Overall it's impeccably well balanced and supple, flavoursome but not heavy. It's ready when you are.  (8/2019)

93 points James Suckling

 Lots of plum and berry character with hints of rose petals and stems, too. Medium body, firm and lightly chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink in 2021. Screw cap.  (6/2019)

92 points Bob Campbell

 Medium to deep red colour with a tint of purple. The bouquet has some violet, red and blue berry and leafy nuances, while the palate is quite taut, firm and lean, tightly-packed and tense, with an over-arching impression of elegance. Very good value. (Huan Hooke)  (3/2019)

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Price: $19.99

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By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/15/2019 | Send Email
If Leeuwin Estate is good at one thing, it's consistently making some of the best quality wines you can find for an outstanding price. This is probably the third vintage I've had of the Prelude, and I've yet to be disappointed. Full bodied, silky tannins, nice flavors of black currant, mint, and baking spices. Every sip, I kept picking up more and more flavors. This wine is seriously complex, and could easily give some of the cabs in Napa Valley a run for it's money.

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/14/2019 | Send Email
Classic Margaret River at its best. Notes of eucalyptus and mint mingle with heady red currant fruit and a bit of dustiness at the finish. This is sophisticated Cab Sauv from one of the most elegant Aussie producers. And what a price! Don't sleep on this down under dream.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/13/2019 | Send Email
It’s not often you can find a benchmark Cabernet producer whose wines keep getting better and better, yet still has a price like this. Year after year Leeuwin’s Prelude Cabernet continues to be one of the best values in Cabernet, not just from Margaret River, but from anywhere. The nose on this is incredibly masculine. Full of black fruit, charcoal and cassis. After 5 minutes in my glass, the wine just blooms into spicy black cherry, mint and graphite. The way this wine opens and evolves in the glass over a short time is nothing short of remarkable. On the palate, there’s more blackberry, black raspberry and cassis notes. The tannin profile here is just perfect: it hits you right at the mid palate, and just dissolves through the finish. Incredibly well balanced with a great mix of both fruit and earth, this wine is absolutely captivating.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/8/2019 | Send Email
Leeuwin's Prelude is always a great value even at its typical $25-30 price point...but at this price it's a total no-brainer. Classic Margaret River Cab with cassis, red currant, hints of eucalyptus and cedar. Medium plus bodied, fine tannins, fresh, lifted acidity complementing the soft, fluid fruit. Accessible and complete, a great bottle of wine and one that demonstrates fantastic value for money.
Top Value!

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/7/2019 | Send Email
Margaret River is continues to be my favorite Cabernet producing region in Australia. The Prelude is filled with juicy currant fruit and ripe blueberry notes. The palate is smooth and supple with savory spices and light floral tones. It has a wonderful minty edge that never veers in the heavier eucalyptic notes of the southern Australian cabs. This is fresh and vibrant and easily gives any other New World Cabernet a run for its money at twice the price.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/6/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is very complex, full of menthol, camphor, eucalyptus and green olive coupled with a bit of earth and spice. On the palate the wine is medium bodied yet very balanced, those same aromatics are slightly muted while more earth and hints of cassis emerge. The finish is very balanced, long and I finally understand these Margaret River wines, they have more of a Bordeaux bent than a new world angle, they don’t have the sweet fruit of Napa but they do have that supple, smooth body, a delight to drink if you’re doing up a spicy flank steak on Friday nights.

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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