Saturday, June 18, 2011


- Clare Valley, SA
- $85
- Cork
- 13.9%alc

Wendouree is an Australian winery of Grand Cru-like status. Their reputation is such that nearly all their wine sells out to mail order customers, with very few ever making it to retail shelves. Those that do make it into stores tend to undergo a noted price hike, of around $30 or more. As is the norm on this website, the price stated here is retail.

Perhaps a little constrained now, Wendouree's 2008 Cabernet Malbec nonetheless smells like a caged beast waiting to strike. It's deeply scented, beautifully ripened and even a touch savoury for what was a troubled year across South Australia, as calm, floral whiffs of eucalyptus, lavender, tea and tobacco leaf carry its plush mulberry and pastille blackcurrant aromas with regal grace, whilst finely honed French oak provides no more than a support role, imparting a further lick of savoury quality. Its delicious palate is surprisingly medium-weighted and supple, with a leathery/earthy interplay of dark fruit flavours driven deep into the mouth by a corkscrew-like penetration of structure, drilling the back palate with a one-two punch of dry, dusty, spiky tannins and refreshing acids, leaving a lingering note of licorice-tinged old-vine fruit to pass. For all its quality, there's no doubt its best years are yet to come.

ü+ I'll admit I hesitated when it came to buying Wendouree's 2008s, but I'll never doubt that magical vineyard again. Brilliant. Drink to 2028.
95 points


  1. My first Wendouree experience was trying this exact wine at last year's Langton's tasting. I was similarly impressed, and it subsequently encouraged me to make my first Wendouree purchase with the 02 Cab Malbec. I'll definitely look to buy some of this 08 as well when i get the chance.

  2. Red,

    Due to my preconceptions of the vintage I initially passed on buying any of Wendouree's 2008s, but over the past year or so I've read a couple of good write-ups of the Cab Malbec (including some handy feedback from last year's Langton's tasting courtesy of east coast bloggers), which did sway me a bit. However, as unlikely as it sounds, what really steered me towards the Cabernet Malbec was Leasingham's delicious 2008 Bin 56 Cab Malbec - I thought, if Leasingham can get a cab malbec so right in 2008, then surely Wendouree can too!

    Strange but true... :)