Wendouree 2013 + Wendouree 2017


A friend emailed and mentioned that he intended on opening 12 bottles of Wendouree across two vintages for lunch, and was I interested in coming earlier in the day and having a look at them.  Is the pope a catholic.  The two vintages opened were 2013 and 2017, and in terms of order, we decided to look at them varietally, so we could see the vintage in the grape.  It turned out to be a brilliant method of approaching these wines, and I can say with total clarity that the 2013’s expressed a restrained, earthy, at times herbal, elegant and classical air.  By contrast the 2017’s had a vibrancy and light about them, and an unavoidable (beautiful) creamy cassis character on the nose… just lacing the aromas.  While I had see-sawing preferences in each mini-bracket I couldn’t say whether I preferred either vintage.  My two top wines were the 2013 Cabernet Malbec, and the 2017 Shiraz.  Be prepared for some big scores – these are exceptional wines.

So, how were they?

2013 Wendouree Shiraz Mataro

Elegant! Fine! Crushed coffee bean, market spice.  The red fruits here are savoury and fine… what a lingering, special wine.


2017 Wendouree Shiraz Mataro

The nose here is creamy and sweet – a maple donut sort of character.  The palate is jubilant somehow – vibrant and fine – the length of flavour is something to marvel at.  Where the ’13 has a savoury herbal edge through its core, the ’17 is willowy and plush.


2013 Wendouree Shiraz Malbec

The Malbec contributes a black edge to the nose – tarry and resinous.  The mid-palate reveals a purity and clarity of fruit.  Beautiful.


2017 Wendouree Shiraz Malbec

The shiny malbec is closed at this stage – tight but with great structure and length and line.  Gorgoues lingering flavours.  The finesse of this vintage is something.


2013 Wendouree Malbec

A real pastille vibe on the nsoe here, juicy and fine – endurance of flavours is key.  It penetrates and extends… it is spice and length – it unfolds.  This is new world malbec restraint – it unfolds rather than slaps.  It caresses.


2017 Wendouree Malbec

That creaminess from the vintage comes through on the nose again.  There is an undeniable purity, clarity of expression and complexity here that is like a rally well engineered pop-up book.  How can it all concertina back together again – but it does.  How can all those components possibly fold neatly back into themselves, yet they do.  Length again.


2013 Wendouree Cabernet Malbec

Familiar territory here, the tannins are structuring and firm – they carry the length of flavour through the long finish.  Brilliant, classic, beautiful cabernet.  Cassis, creme de menthe, bay leaf and spice.  gosh yes. 


2017 Wendouree Cabernet Malbec

The nose offers up sarsparilla and pomegranate… it is creamy… it is almost misleading.  This is not simple.  The vibrancy of it quivers.  This has power and length, a bit lighter on its feet than the 2013.  Much more tightly wound.


2013 Wendouree Shiraz

Meaty, medium bodied elegance – this is finely textured and totally lovely.  A beauty.  Succulent.  Classical.  Savoury.  textured.  Black tea, grilled blueberry, blackberry, mulberry, all the things morphing into red and purple through the finish.


2017 Wendouree Shiraz

The impact of the 2017 vintage is most clearly felt here I believe.  This is ridiculously good.  Length.  Line.  Life.  Structural integrity.  All things.  Raspberry, red liquorice, salted red berry, this eclipses the 2013… Utter glory and finesse and latent power, with staggering length.  Jesus chroist.  Pretty close to perfection.


2013 Wendouree Cabernet

Traditional, classical leafy, herbal, balanced and fine cabernet of the highest order.  Excellent persistence.  Speaks of place.  The tannins are very finely textured and structuring.


2017 Wendouree Pressings

A melange.  Vbrant, plush, succulent, delicious.  A little bit of everything… an irresistable drink, my only observation here is a lacks definition so it’s hard to pin down, but it’s even harder to decry.