|Wine||Wendouree A.P. Birks|
|Wine Maker||Tony Brady|
Good evening there once again wine lovers!
Tonight I bring you a special review of a wine that is a collectable and a cornerstone name in Australian wines. Wendouree has been around since 1895 making it one of the oldest wineries in South Australia. Most describe their wines as an “Iron fist in a velvet glove,” and you might have heard me say this before about The 2010 Penfold’s Grange. These wines are made to go a distance. Something that best be consumed in the years to come rather than the year of production. These wines are known as the “cult” wines, the wines that every serious wine collector must have sitting away in their cellar.
Wendouree is a winery that produces Shiraz, Cabernet, Malbec, Mataro and Muscat. However, it is their Shiraz that is the collectable piece, with the price of wine doubling with each decade that passes. This wine upon release costs around $50.00 a bottle. Ten years on the same bottle is now worth $100.00, and now 20 years on, this wine commands a price tag of $200.00. The Shiraz in general has a cellaring potential of 30 plus years, and thus, the one that I have with me tonight is right in the prime phase of its drinking. At 20 years old, this wine should showcase what this winery is all about and hopefully fulfills its Iron fist in a velvet glove quotation. Wendouree doesn’t comment too much about their wines. Heck, they don’t even have a website and you must call to send an order in and they prioritise their frequent buyers by order of priority over new comers. If you are new to their wines, you might find it difficult to get your hands on some of their Shiraz (Especially in a strong vintage year.) I sourced this bottle from East End Cellars as a 60th Birthday present for my father, we are finally getting around to consuming it after looking at it for the past 2 months.
Now let’s take a good look at the 1996 Shiraz.
Colour: Dark cherry, and burnt amber. The time it has spent away in the bottle has turned it from a vivid dark colour to a dull brickend, colour. However, this wine still manages to maintain some of its purplish colour after all these years.
Aroma: Dark Cherry, Blackberry, sultana, work up front with lashings of aniseed and liquorice and smoked hickory/ toasted oak and baked terracotta and black pepper.
Palate: Medium bodied wine that promotes still quite juicy flavours of dark cherry that work alongside a strong earthy palate that resembles terracotta. It is a nice soft wine that promotes some oomph, but is well refined and balanced which traces itself back into aniseed with hints of black tea and clay and mint to the end.
Wine Thoughts: This wine did not disappoint. This is grand wine that I was quite surprised still showed a dominating fruit characteristic of Dark Cherry after 20 years in the bottle. This wine is a grand display of brilliant old vine Shiraz and a great showcase of what you can expect out of the Clare Valley. As an avid wine lover and enthusiast, this wine met all the expectations I had for it. It is a wine that still has legs to keep on going for a little while more. A real marathon wine to last the long haul. I am quite happy that if you can get your hands on this wine it will only set you back 50 dollars. It could so easily be much more than that if they allowed the hype of its cult status to take over.
Drink: Now to 2028
The SA Wine Guy