Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2018
Lifted and bright with great clarity, the nose expresses cut limes and lemons. Subtle notes of kaffir, lemongrass, jasmine and fresh sesame seed lie in the background. Defined by a finely structured palate with delicate texture and sherbet-like acidity, the palate shows lemon pith, lime and cardamom pod.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Glistening straw-gold. Ripe citrus and pit fruits on the nose, with hints of succulent herbs and honey in the background. Plush and broad on entry, offering juicy nectarine, pear and orange flavors that firm up and turn drier with air. Finishes long and chewy, with repeating peachiness and a lingering suggestion of bitter quinine. Drinking window: 2022 - 2028
Having recently opened a well-preserved bottle of the 2001, perhaps I'm being conservative with my drinking window for the 2018 Art Series Riesling. It's accessible now, showing youthful notes of green apple, lime and orange sherbet, but will round out with time in the cellar. It's medium-bodied, plump across the mid-palate, then dry, chalky and long on the finish, with mouthwatering acidity.
Riesling thrives in the far south of Western Australia (Great Southern region), but it’s rarely found in Margaret River. Leeuwin’s version, therefore, is an anomaly and is made possible by the winery’s southern location in the region. This vintage is young and austere, but evocative nonetheless. Lemon verbena, lime leaf, and dried flowers and herbs are girdled by petrol notes. Acidity is, for the moment, a little searing without the texture or residual sugar to balance it, but time should sort that out. Drink 2021–2030 and watch this morph into a more honeyed, complex, textural drop as the years pass.
In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, first identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine and provided early mentorship to owners, Denis and Tricia Horgan in the establishment of Leeuwin Estate. The first vines were planted by hand over a five year period from 1973.
Featuring state-of-the art facilities, the winery building was opened in 1978, celebrating with a trial vintage. Leeuwin enjoyed its first commercial vintage in 1979, and was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1980 "Art Series" Chardonnay in an international blind tasting.
Maintaining a team of highly skilled and dedicated winemakers, Leeuwin Estate is now under the direction of two generations of the founding family.
Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux Blends with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. For white wines, refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as well as complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are regional specialties.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.