Wendouree was perhaps the first Australian cult wine, if the term had existed at the time. The wine is not sold in shops, nor in restaurants, to my knowledge. The mailing list is hopelessly oversubscribed. Four brands are listed in the first two categories of Langton's Classification. The Shiraz/Malbec is one of them. I came across the 2004 Wendouree Shiraz/Malbec by accident in my cellar and thought this would be a good comparison with the Torbreck from yesterday.
Nick Stock describes the Wendouree vineyard as the best or most unique terroir in Australia by far. I guess Henschke, Leeuwin, or Bass Phillip would beg to differ. However, it is pretty special. This old Clare Valley vineyard follows the tradition of a 'garden vineyard' with a significant number of varieties in one vineyard. The result is a number of blends seldom seen. Shiraz/Malbec is one of them. Is there another Australian producer of this blend?
Anyway, on to the wine, which surprised me a lot. The wine looks quite fresh, with a ruby colour. The flavours are initially dominated by red and black cherries (thanks to the Malbec), but become more savoury on the back palate. The wine is quite acidic, with a dry finish. The tannins are noticeable, but do not dominate. It is often said you cannot approach a Wendouree wine before 15 years or so. This is certainly not true in this case. This wine is ready to drink and not heavy. The structure is good, but I found the acidity not integrating too well. No doubt, acid had been added in the process.