2018 Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Leeuwin Estate is one of Margaret River’s and Australia’s great Estates. Their prelude range focuses on the region's benchmark varietals which are made in a more accessible form than the Art Series range whilst still retaining strong varietal character. The 2018 Prelude Cabernet is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, the exceptional 2018 Margaret River vintage raising the quality bar another notch to deliver what is a rich yet refined rendition of this terrific year. Maturation took place in French oak ranging from new (33%) to 2 years old for a period of 20 months.
A superb example of the Leeuwin Estate style at a fraction of the Art Series price.
Midnight black colour with a deep dark red black tinged hue. Pronounced scents of blackcurrant and ripe mulberry pickup overtones of violet with vanillin cedar, tobacco, black olive and spicy bay leaf notes also chiming in. Flooding the mid weighted palate is a deep core of rich blackcurrant fruit with infusions of tobacco and black olive adding further charm. A flash of mulberry, lightly dusted vanillin cedar and hints of bay leaf make an appearance on the back half. Seamlessly integrated tannins have a polished feel melding effortlessly into the fruit. Finishes long, refined and complex.
Drink over the next 6-8 years.
90/10% cabernet sauvignon/merlot. 20 months in French oak (33% new). In case you missed it, '18 may be the greatest cabernet and chardonnay vintage in living memory in Margaret River. So goes it for the Prelude: sheer density of fruit and rippling length of flavour are the calling cards. Bargain at the price. Drink by 2035.
Erin Larkin - James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion