Westend's 'super premium' 3 Bridges label represents some of the smartest drinking you'll find from Australia's warm inland river regions. 3 Bridges wines are inevitably constructed with more ambition, thought and effort than one would usually associate with their region of origin. Atop the range sits Westend's Durif, a wine made from a variety well known for producing charmingly rugged wines under the hot Australian sun.
Faithful to its region yet well executed, the 2009 3 Bridges Durif presents a typically ripe nose marked by plum syrup and blackcurrant scents. However, unlike many of Australia's river precinct reds, it's valiantly lifted by a floral edge, whilst a clever touch of toasty cedar/mocha oak imparts a drier quality without consuming the fruit. Its palate does a fine job of delivering dark, inky flavours backed by a mouth-filling yet controlled coverage of dry and sandy durif tannins, but regrettably, it just seems to lack richness and weight through the mid-palate. If that hole had been filled, this would've been quite the wine, because although its length of fruit does pull up a fraction short, it still finishes with rustic meaty aspects, structure and grit, like a true warm climate Australian durif should.
O As is, Westend's 2009 3 Bridges Durif is a more than competent red perfectly set for hearty red meat dishes, but were it not for a solitary flaw, it would've really launched some fireworks. Amazingly, at the end of it all, it actually presents like a more decorated wine than it is. Drink to 2017.