November 2023 New Releases

November 2023 New Releases

6th December 2023

The temptation to try the latest releases from the fabled Wendouree winery proved irresistible, so into the tasting they went. These wines never fail to surprise me in just how medium bodied and elegant they are. Relatively low alcohol levels are a feature and reflect the finer style.

One of the key features of all the wines was the beautiful colour in the glass. Vibrant, vivid purple/red.

Yields in 2021 were tiny, reflecting the seemingly never-ending run of drought years that have beset the region. My entire allocation was three bottles, so I am grateful to Terry for sharing some of his allocation to make this tasting possible.

Aside from the Wendourees, there were several other wines that stood out. None more so than the superb Roennfeldt Road Cabernet from Greenock Creek. So different in style from what we see in the West, but no less worthy of praise. The icing on the cake for this wine was the fact that it is an irresistible (if very expensive) drink right now.

I also very much enjoyed the rieslings from Hutton Vale Farm. It is great to see wineries successfully producing off-dry rieslings. Bravo.


Wendouree – Cabernet/Malbec – 2021. The colour here is a highlight. Fine, elegant and refined, this is almost gentle in the way the fruit presents. But make no mistake, there is great depth behind the subtle, medium-bodied façade. The acid and the ultrafine tannins keep the fruit in check, with the tannins building on the very close. 94pts – $70.

Wendouree – Shiraz/Mataro – 2021. I love the colour. Whilst closed and taut, this has amazing intensity to the medium bodied fruit. Elegant and poised, the fruit is completely unadorned with winemaking artifact. This is a wine that requires patience and is for sipping and thinking, rather than drinking at this stage. Very fine tannins keep the finish subdued. Needs time and air to show its best. 13% alc, 93pts – $70.

Wendouree – Shiraz – 2021. Unlike the blends, this is so, so delicious at this early stage, but is also serious and age-worthy. The way the fruit intensity builds on the palate is something to behold. That a wine with this intensity barely makes it above medium bodied, is something to marvel at. Supple, with perhaps a hint of pencil shavings. This has the finest of tannins that, whilst prodigious, remain in balance. And the colour! 13.8% alc, 95pts – $80.

Wendouree – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2021. There is so much goodness in this wine. The cabernet fruit is ripe, and there is a degree of approachability/accessibility that is quite charming. But there is a more serious side to the inky fruit. A lovely drink, in a more serious style that demands aging. The length and persistence of flavours are admirable. 13.3% alc, 93pts, $80.00. (My points seem a little stingy, as this wine is sure to blossom with time in the bottle).

Hutton Vale Farm – Riesling – 2023. A very intense style that is bursting with fresh, zesty fruit, supported by thrilling acidity. This is a great drink and will be superb with gently poached salmon, as the acidity and freshness will provide the perfect foil to the richness of the fish. Just off dry, with a bright mid palate, this is not overly complex right now, but this will flesh out with age. In the meantime, enjoy it for its youthful exuberance. 12.5% alc, 93pts, $35.

Hutton Vale Farm – Off Dry – Riesling – 2023. A delicious, albeit unusual style in the Australian context, as there is obvious sweetness to the palate. This is supported by fine acidity and the combination results in a delicious wine that would be ideal served chilled on a warm day. And the lower alcohol means that a glass of this mid-afternoon is not going to set you on your ear. Give me a straw 😊. 10.5% alc, 92pts, $35.00.

Greenock Creek – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2021. Pretty, fragrant and alluring, this is an exercise in restraint. Supple, silky texture combines with juicy/plump fruit makes for an awesome drink. A characterful wine with excellent palate weight. 14.5% alc, 94pts.

Greenock Creek – RoennFeldt Road – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018. This is a big boy that is absolutely jam packed with flavours. Berries flood the palate, supported by bright acidity, supple tannins and impactful oak that adds some chocolaty, savoury notes. This is no shrinking violet, it is a full bodied, full throttle wine that floods the senses. And all the while, it manages to remain balanced and fresh. Remarkable. A style that is very different to MR, but an amazing wine. 14.5%. 96pts, $300.