Wendouree vertical tasting
An incredible tasting of 14 of these rare cult wines from Australia's Clare Valley

This was a remarkable tasting, put on by www.findwine.co.uk, a relatively new UK-based internet wine merchant. Because of the rarity of these wines, I reckon this could well be one of the most extensive tastings ever of the legendary Australian wine producer Wendouree, who I have written about before based on a visit and tasting a few years back.

Wendouree wines are special. They are made from incredible old vineyards in the Clare Valley, and they are made uncompromisingly. These are wines that age brilliantly. Indeed, they demand long ageing before they are drinkable. They are the antithesis of the fruit-forward, sweet, easy going public face of Australian wine, and are noted for their tight, acidic, fresh, savoury style.

Findwine should be congratulated on putting on a tasting like this because wines are really hard to come by. They are usually not available at retail. Instead, you have to get on the mailing list. No easy task, and no one however important can jump the queue. [Remarkably, Findwine also have some of these wines for sale.]


Wendouree Shiraz Mataro 1989
Nicely evolved. Earthy, mineral, slightly minty nose, with a touch of iodine. The palate has some minerality and a lovely complex savoury character. Very fine and well balanced with some nice, fresh herby and minty notes. 93/100

Wendouree Shiraz Mataro 2002
Nicely dense and savoury with a slight roasted edge to the nose. Fresh and mineral, with just a touch of mint. The palate is fresh and structured with lovely focused minerally red fruits. Midweight with lovely structure. Very fine. 93/100

Wendouree Shiraz Malbec 2000
Lovely vibrant fruit here, showing subtle mint and iodine notes. Very fresh red cherry and berry fruits. The palate is concentrated with firm grippy tannins and lovely acidity. Beautiful focus with purity and minerality, finishing grippy. 94/100  

Wendouree Shiraz Malbec 2001
Lovely sweet, pure dark fruits nose. Rich and pure with nice definition. The palate is quite rich with lovely sweet, dense fruit, backed up by lovely spicy structure. Firm but generous. Lovely. 93/100

Wendouree Cabernet Malbec 1990
Meaty, evolved, spicy nose with fresh mint and iodine notes, as well as some spicy warmth. The palate has lovely warmth and spicy mineral complexity under the elegant red fruits. Still firmly structured, this is elegant and savoury. A thrilling wine. 95/100

Wendouree Cabernet Malbec 1998
Taut, savoury, mineral nose is very spicy and lively. The palate is fresh and bold with focused tannic dark fruits. Firmly tannic and mineral with incredible freshness. Needs time: very firm and focused. 94/100

Wendouree Cabernet Malbec 1999
Warm, spicy nose is complex with some iodine character. The palate is fresh with some evolution. Firmly spicy with good structure and acidity. Warm and intense: lovely. 93/100

Wendouree Cabernet Malbec 2002
Intense focused dark fruits nose: pure, lively and mineral with lovely definition. The palate is focused and intense with pure, fresh dark fruits and firm tannins. Very high acidity. Amazingly fresh, pure and taut with great potential. 95/100

Wendouree Shiraz 1997
Thrillingly open, perfumed nose showing lively, sweet red fruits with herb, mint and iodine complexity. The plate is elegant and fresh with lovely precision. So complex and fresh, with red fruits, tar and minerals. Hints of earth, too. 96/100  

Wendouree Shiraz 1999
First bottle was a little suspect, but second was a little better, although still closed. Quite fresh, taut and spicy with a bit of mintiness, as well as some earthy notes. Restrained and taut with a slightly closed personality. Come back in a few years? 92/100

Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon 1992
Very evolved, earthy and dense with some spiciness on the nose. The palate is evolved and earthy but has nice old wine complexity: spicy, earthy and perhaps a little faded, but with good acid. Tastes older than it should. 92/100

Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Lovely rich dark fruits nose with tar, mineral and mint notes. The palate is fresh with lovely bright, focused dark fruits and high acidity. Minty and fresh. Very mineral, dense and focused. 94/100

Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Taut, minty and focused on the nose, with dark fruits to the fore. The palate is vibrant and minty with high acidity. Fresh and backward with firm structure. 93/100

Wendouree Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
Spicy, minty, mineral nose of dark fruits and warm spices. Fresh and aromatic. The palate is fresh with high acidity and bright berry fruits. Mineral undertones. Structured and savoury, this is a lovely wine. 95/100

See also:

Visiting Wendouree

Wines tasted 11/10  
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