Leeuwin Estate Prelude Cabernet 2001 (review)

84 points

From Margaret River, Western Australia.

This is Leeuwin Estate’s sort of 2nd wine label, the top wines being the ‘art series’. Prelude is supposed to give you an idea of what the ‘art series’ will be like, though in practice the vintages of both are released at pretty much the same time.

This is like a minor cru bourgeois Bordeaux chateau. I mean that in a positive sense, in that this is a cut above most Australian cabernets. But I’m also damning with faint praise as I expected better given the stellar vintage in WA (which is lauded on the back label). It’s 14% alcohol but comes across as a bit dilute, tiny bit unripe. And compared to bordeaux it is sweet and not built to age.

I’m not sure if this wine is less than it was in previous vintages, or if my expectations have gone up. For around A$20-25 it’s not exactly bad value. A good restaurant wine so long as you don’t have to pay restaurant prices.

Best 2005 – 2007.

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