Wild Duck Creek Estate is one of those cult wineries in Australia, based outside of Melbourne, that achieved much of its acclaim due to a mixture of excellent winemaking techniques (vinification is entirely effected through manual pressing), a winemaker with a keen sense of what good wine (David knows and deeply loves his vines), and of course, that Robert Parker 99-pointer for their flagship "Duck Muck" in the '97 vintage.
Wild Duck Creek Estate Heathcote Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve '96
Velvety smooth, this deep blood-colored wine was a toast to the senses. Extraction was excellent, leading to a nose that displayed rose, violet and licorice, together with the more trademark Cabernet black fruit, especially stewed plum. On the palate, the flavor held well from entry to finish, and combined with well-balanced medium-high tannins and acid, the wine was a pleaser, and one that whets the desire for pairing with ribeye covered in a mushroom sauce.
Wild Duck Creek Estate Heathcote Spring Flat '00
This deep, deep crimson-garnet Shiraz displayed a clean, pronounced nose of cassis and fig, tinged with dark chocolate, cinnamon, and a touch of eucalyptus. On the palate, the wine displayed extremely good balance - the high tannins and acidity working well off each other, and portending the possibility of bottle aging - and the chewy body once again reminiscent of that dark fruit and dark chocolate. The finish was medium-long, rounding off this excellent value-for-money offering.
Wild Duck Creek Estate Heathcote Pressings '00
Made from the last ten percent must pressings, this deep crimson wine exploded with deep fruit characters of plum, black cherry, prune, black pepper, and dark chocolate. The sweet hints on the nose were well supported by the palate of well-balanced fruit, with a finish that harked some white pepper and violet. The high tannins and medium acidity made this wine another possibly keeper, for at least 10 years in bottle or more. Pair with a juicy, succulent steak.
Wild Duck Creek Estate Heathcote "Duck Muck" '00
The flagship wine of Wild Duck Creek, this deep crimson wine did not disappoint. Of the portfolio, it had the most staying power, developing in the glass long after the first sip. To get to that first sip, though, involved tearing oneself away from the elegant yet enchanting nose of blackberry, plum and violet, topped off with some spicy notes. Playing the perfect accompaniment was the wine on the palate, which exuded spicy high notes of plum and black cherry, rounded off by dark chocolate and - very prominently - white pepper. A nice long finish completed the treat. Perhaps the only concern might be that the fruit characters might not hold through too many years; the wine might drink well through 7-10 years, but it would be difficult to make the call beyond that.
Date: Aug 21, 2002