Saturday, July 10, 2010

WENDOUREE CABERNET MALBEC 2006

- Clare Valley, SA
- $85
- Cork
- 13.7%alc

Few names excite Australian wine enthusiasts as much as Wendouree; an old fashioned producer whose association with long living reds is practically unmatched in this country. Wendouree's focus is squarely set on grape growing and winemaking, opposing both assertive marketing and self promotion. This point is personified by their traditional bottles, which still display no back label, no contact details and no internet address. How awesome is that?

After 4 hours in the decanter this perfumed and musky young Wendouree opens to powerfully fragrant, multi-faceted aromas of blackberry, plums and rhubarb underscored by more complex accompaniments of earth, game, gumleaf, dried herbs and clove with a polite influence of clean, fresh cedar/vanilla oak. Astoundingly deep, rich and harmonious, its layered, voluminous palate reveals a velvety mouthfeel absolutely packed with moderately juicy, condensed flavours of black bramble berries and malbec derived earth and game coated in polished cedar/vanilla oak. It unfolds down the palate in a savoury, firming and agreeably dry manner, with a surprisingly sensuous, whole mouth coating of silky, fine-grained tannins underpinned by a lingering richness of game, herb and blackberry flavour.

ü+ Like a lot of Wendouree's recent reds the 2006 Cabernet Malbec is much more approachable in its youth than the label's reputation suggests, but it still contains the expected depth and balance of ancient vine material to see it to age effortlessly towards the long term. Drink to 2031.
96 points

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review Chris. Over the past couple of years I've read a lot of conflicting reviews on Wendouree wines. Personally I want them to be as good as their historical reputation suggests and great to see that this wine lives up to the reputation. I'm yet to try a Wendouree but will have to rectify this. Are you on their mailing list?

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  2. I've just tasted the 1999 recently, and it really impressed me, though I didn't rate it very high. It was so unevolved that could be a 4-year-old wine. No high alcohol, incredible tannins, highish acidity (which felt natural), I loved it so much. I wish I could taste a mature one, but even this bottle was quite difficult to get from here (Central Europe). Thanks for the review

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  3. oooo, reminds me of how uneasy it is to get in touch with Rockford. Now I'm on Rendouree's case too, at least to try their wine

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  4. Red,

    Personally I've never had a bad experience with any Wendouree wine. After having been through their spectacular vineyard on several occasions I do feel a sense of tasting the place in the wines for sure. There really is a spiritual feel to the site (in Australian wine speak) and the guys that look after the place do a wonderful job of it.

    After having read some of the views on Clare Valley cabernet blends on your website I would definitely suggest the 2006 Cabernet Malbec is a great place to start your Wendouree experience. Of course, it is a completely different beast to Grosset. ;)

    I'm not on the mailing list by the way, but I do know someone who is. He literally spends thousands of dollars a year on Wendouree alone. I just saw his 2008 allocation which I believe was 12 x shiraz, 6 x cabernet malbec, 6 x shiraz malbec, 6 x shiraz mataro and a box of the muscat for good measure. Just think what that's worth! Still, if you're a lawyer and can afford it......

    Cheers,
    Chris P

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  5. Zoli,

    A central European Wendouree drinker! Now I bet the Bradys would be interested to hear of that! Just goes to show the word of good wine travels far, even without assertive marketing.

    If you're interested there's a wine auction house here in Adelaide called Oddbins who regularly stock mature Wendouree's at very fair prices. At their last auction there was a good amount from the 80's and early 90's with prices ranging from (not the shiraz though) $35-$80 Australian. I gave a brief rundown on it in a post with the 'A WINE AUCTION REPORT' tag, which should be situated in the sidebar to your left under 'Other Tags'.

    Oh, Oddbins website address is:-

    www.oddbins.com.au

    Best of luck,
    Chris P

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  6. Sarah,

    Unfortunately I think getting in touch with Wendouree could be even more difficult than Rockford, but if you do, it should be worth at least twice the award. :)

    Cheers,
    Chris P

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  7. thanks for the links, Chris. I hope once I will have a chance to get an old bottle, especially a shiraz :)

    Cheers,
    Zoli

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  8. 1st Choice Bendigo have a few bottles bought at auction $100-200. University House at Melb Uni have an allocation. OK if you're on staff.

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  9. Hi there - have you tried the '93? Any thoughts?

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  10. I had heard so much about Wendouree that I purchased a few bottles of 2000 shiraz malbec on Langtons wine auctions for about $50 per bottle (plus about $12 /bottle for auction fees, delivery etc!) I was looking forward to trying these so I took one to a barbecue and kept it hidden! it was absolutely magnificent. Rich purple in colour, aromas of chocolate and blackberries, perfectly balanced oak and silky tannins. I was moved, it was close to the most delicious wine I have ever had. I shared small amounts with a couple of insignificant others and later bragged to the host about my wine. He loved Wendouree and pulled out a bottle of 2008 Shiraz! It was superb, but could do with a bit of aging! 2 in one night... it wa great!

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