It was just a sip of each, but I managed a quick look at the brand-new 2016 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay & 2015 Art Series Cabernet yesterday.
And they’re good. Blue chip good, if in need of patience. Like taking home a new Porsche, and you need is to wait for the first 1000km so you can start driving it like you stole it.
The 2016 Leeuwin Art Series Chardonnay, in particular, is closed and grapefruity; another entrant in the ever-more-refined evolution of LEAS Chard. If anything it is too taut, the oak kissing up against the subtle lemon and green melon fruit, the personality still locked up tight. But the length and that irrepressible power marks the calibre, the wine needing only the trademark 2-3 years in bottle to hit the higher notes.
Sure the $100 pricetag is high (especially when 864 et al are $30 cheaper), but the reputation and undoubted quality marks this as ‘buy with confidence’ if you’ve got the pesos.
What was more noticeable was the better-than-ever 2015 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon. In years gone by, this was a hard wine, with overly firm tannins and a pretty raw persona.
But this ’15 isn’t hard at all. There’s a polish to the tannins that is much more contemporary Margaret River, while the wine as a whole feels fresher too.
Admittedly the Art Series Cab has been moving in this direction of late, so it’s no paradigm shift. But important to shout out when wines have moved in a welcome direction.
Apparently the new 2016 Leeuwin Art Series Shiraz is better again too (as Shiraz remains a weak point of the range). Let’s see if that prediction turns out to be right…