Leeuwin Estate 'Art Series' Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Australia 2019

Leeuwin Estate 'Art Series' Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Australia 2019

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2019 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon The Wine Advocate RP 96

Reviewed by:
Erin Larkin
Release Price:
Drink Date:
2024 - 2045

The 2019 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon is a child of the season that birthed it. Cooler than both of the great vintages immediately on either side, it shows its mineral, graphite core aromatically. On the palate, the wine shows precision and detail and all manner of things gray/dark brown: star anise, fennel seeds, a hint of arnica, tobacco and bay leaf, cassis and ozone. It's a super, medium-weight wine with gravelly/ductile tannins that splay across the finish. The 2019 vintage is proving its supporters correct in the declaration of its high quality, both as a standalone season and in comparison to the previous and excellent 2018 season. It offers us, the drinkers, a stylistic choice—and it's a win-win situation. Sealed under screw cap.

The release of the Art Series Chardonnay (in this case, the 2020 vintage) is tasted in this manner at the estate each year prior to vintage. This year, in 2023, we consider three verticals: Art Series Chardonnay 2020–1982, Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2019–2005 and the Art Series Shiraz 2011– 2021. In attendance at the tasting were siblings Justin and Simone Horgan (joint directors of the estate), winemakers Tim Lovett and Phil Hutchinson and estate viticulturist David Winstanley.

As is usual for the wines from these vintages, the 2014 and 2018 Cabernets from Leeuwin Estate were standouts in this vertical. So, too, the cooler 2019 vintage. 2018 and 2019 are an interesting pair to compare, as I am reminded time and time again of their differences in style and personality now that they have settled in bottle. The two vintages were really quite different in conditions, and that, pleasingly, has yielded two very different wines in the glass. Personally, I have a penchant for the power and grace of the 2018; however, the aromatic detail and black heart of the 2019s is just as attractive, on different days of the week. No right or wrong. Just different.

Though known for the Art Series Chardonnay, and for good reason, the quality of the Cabernets increases with every year that goes by (we can look to vine age, refinement of style, etc.). In terms of vintages to come, there is the warm and low-yielding 2020, the moderate but wet 2021 vintage, the warm and dry (and by all accounts and according to my 80+ barrel tastings) excellent 2022 and the cool, long, moderate and super fine 2023. Exciting times ahead for this region, and indeed, Leeuwin Estate.

Published: Feb 15, 2024