The UK's No.1 Australian Wine Specialist
Special Pre-Arrival Offer
Valid to 9:00am Monday 9 October.
We are delighted to unveil Wild Duck Creek’s full collection – a first for us all in the UK as key wines are usually reserved for domestic wine club members. Their ‘members only’ wines are only produced when exceptional conditions prevail. These wines are crafted to be of the highest quality and are powerful expressions of the vintage and of the Heathcote Wine Region. They are rare in every sense and made for maximum enjoyment along with offering incredible cellaring potential.
We have priced the collection sensitively. One, to respect the ongoing cost-of-living struggle and secondly, and most importantly, not to devalue the stupendous quality of the entire collection. Favourable pricing is achieved by improved sea-shipping rates, a much-improved FX rate, which has been stable for a significant part of 2023 and by reducing our profit margins. It’s a balancing act which can be challenging at times, nevertheless, we believe we have achieved the correct equilibrium.
As per the 2021 Standish and Utopos collections – we do not plan to ship vast quantities of stocks. In some cases, we expect key wines to sell-out or physical availability (post this offer) will be small, as we prefer to bring new wines to all our customers on a regular basis. This is not possible if we are tying up working capital on slow moving stocks…
Each wine is available to purchase as a six-pack. Save for the super rare, Duck Muck, we are not offering pre-arrival wines by-the-bottle. All orders exceeding the free delivery threshold (£150) will be dispatched without any additional charges. As ever, storage and onward movement to a different UK bonded warehouse is available.
This will be a short-run offer (Valid to 9:00am Monday 9 October) as there is much to do before they head for the UK. By way of example, we must confirm our order with team WDC. In turn, they must prepare our order along with all export documentation. We need to contact our nominated shipper to confirm price rates for our order. A vessel spot is then identified, booked and everyone rallies around to get to Adelaide port 2-3 days prior to departure.
Delivery prior to Christmas? With a hand on my heart, I am doubtful however, if most orders are for home delivery, we will ask team WDC to pack a mixed pallet for delivery direct to our HQ warehouse – this will save 2-3 weeks on LCB landing timeframes. Of course, cost prices increase as our shipper will have two deliveries. One to our HQ and the other to LCB, but it’s Christmas and we will make every effort. Today, this is purely wishful thinking as no delivery consideration can be given until we have a vessel booking. From here, we know if we have a chance, or not. You will be advised accordingly…
The white wines were sensational and provided thrilling sampling / drinking. I don’t believe I have sampled wines that deliver such high-quality to value, from anywhere. Accepted, Chardonnay is not a planted varietal at WDC however, Liam is producing a range which inspires interest and most importantly, huge enjoyment. Historically, Vinorium customers have shied away from most non-Chardonnay white varietals. I am a huge fan of Chardonnay, however, give me a Roussanne, Marsanne or a combination of both any day of the week… The Riesling was a young revelation. Stylistically, one of the best examples I have enjoyed for a long time. Texture and flavours are dialled-up for maximum enjoyment, which is missing from many examples we see. Australia should take note of this fearless style…
The reds were colossal, but harmoniously balanced. All require lengthy decanting or a decade or more in the cellar. Liam makes use of all maturation vessels, French and American oak hogsheads – some old and a healthy proportion new. Whole bunches in the ferments for added texture and complexity and all hand plunged which shows absolute care.
The Shiraz Pressings showcases extreme winemaking as the very last drops (gently squeezed from the skins) are captured in a bucket before being carefully poured into second use French oak barrels. The counterbalance between power and richness is an astonishing achievement. Unquestionably, this is a magnificent wine. For a price point comparison – I prefer it to Utopos Shiraz and would love to see this in a decades' time.
I admire Liam’s unapologetic style. Clearly, he has fun and loves to showcase every aspect of the Heathcote (Victoria) region. Chasing critical acclaim is off the agenda. He doesn’t care, as he can sell his entire collection to his loyal, club members who know they are in for a real treat. They’re not wrong…
A first for us – the ’21 Shiraz Pressings made in the same way as Springflat Shiraz, but it is the very last drops of wine to be squeezed from the skins in the basket press. This process often takes all night. Their press gently squeezes the skins under a lower pressure – the juice dribbles and drips into a bucket which is then poured into second use French oak barrels. The resulting wine is super special and is either bottled blended into Springflat Shiraz or Shiraz Reserve. Rarely is it bottled under its own label (previous releases 2012 and 2019) however, Liam explained the ‘21’s are very, very special…
Stuart McCloskey "‘Liquid Gold’ declares Liam. Personally, more akin to the dark universe. The aromatics are spectacular by any measure – oodles of coal, graphite, damson, plum, blackberry, red fruits, leather, warm earth, lavender, pencil lead, salt and the sweetest spice. Espresso after lots of aeration. The palate is liquid velvet. The fruit is sumptuous and voluminous. For the ultimate, palate-staining experience – this is the one. Black and blue fruits infuse with violet pastille, vanilla, spiced fruitcake, dark chocolate and coffee. The tannins are shapely and wrap the fruit up in a blanket of cashmere. The counterbalance between power and richness is an astonishing achievement. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Decanting is highly advisable (4-6 hours). Drink now to 2040+. Served using Zalto glassware."
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "I always enjoy catching the new Wild Duck Creek releases and seem to be only one of a few who might get a set each year to look at, though I suspect as always that the loyalists buy the wines regardless. Liam Anderson is firmly at the helm these days, David Anderson of course still a guidepost and looming figure there. More nuance with Liam, perhaps? The wines still of a theme and typically robust, but, as often, balance seems to make its mark. Here is the Pressings wine, where those bold juices are extracted slowly in a basket press (and often overnight!) as it is described.
Magnificent example of bold, rich, ripe, muscular shiraz with robust and shapely tannins a feature. Inky in colour, inky in texture, scents of ripe blackcurrants, coal, cinnamon toast, new leather and dark chocolate. Similar flavours, something plummy and a lick of liquorice in there too, the finish a plume of milk and dark chocolate, molten in feel, staining the palate. The rub of silty tannin works a treat. It settles in beautifully, potent as can be but only gently warming, despite the quibbles some may have with the marked alcohol percentage. Nectar."
£155.80 per case (6x75cl) Under Bond
Stuart McCloskey "The one wine (from the new collection) which I am most excited about. The bouquet is a beguiling combination of ripe apricot, buttery pastry, poached pear, fresh vanilla pod, chamomile, sweet spice, a soupçon of orange zest and finishes with a beautiful spray of fresh flowers. A zip of lemon too. Textural exoticism personified. Oh Lordy, this is delightful. What a treat. This is a big wine, oily, seductive, silken - an absolute charmer. The sense of balance is perfect, which is quite the achievement. Flavours are divine and wrap the palate with orange zest, fresh fennel, honey and spiced, poached pear and quince. Confit citrus and brisk acidity provides lift and energy. More spice. This goes on and on… Exotic, broad, fleshy and packed with flavour and bountiful personality. Super impressive and will reward those who stash some away. Drink now to 2035. Served using Zalto Universal glassware. Bordeaux would work too…”
£88.75 per case (6x75cl) Under Bond
£125.70 duty paid
No stone is left unturned in the production of Shiraz Reserve. The vineyards are cared for meticulously through hard cane pruning, shoot thinning in spring, under-vine mulching, as well as fruit thinning if needed at veraison to control yield and separate bunches. The fruit is then partly destemmed, often using up to 50% whole bunches in the ferment to create layers of texture, slow down fermentation and control temperature. The resulting wine is then basket pressed into 100% new French oak barriques where it will lay for up to 27 months depending on the vintage.
Stuart McCloskey "The bouquet is extraordinary. There was me thinking Standish has the gold medal for a bottomless bouquet. They’re now in second spot as this is impossibly deep and highly addictive. I genuinely take as much pleasure from sniffing this as I do consuming. Mulberry, plum and damson (all tinged with a soupçon of liquor / pastille like finish). There’s a touch of tart, redcurrant. The spices are sweet, liquorice, iron, fresh coffee, black olive, violet pastille and new leather lurking in the background. I would love to sniff this over 24-48 hours. I enjoy the chew to the palate – there’s more vigour than the ‘Shiraz Pressing’s. Tannins and acidity are dialled up a notch, which are both required to deal with the smorgasbord of sweet, palate-staining fruit – lots of spice too. Particularly pleasing is the floral character which contributes to the only touch of femininity. Hedonistic and will suit those seeking unrivalled vinous pleasure. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Decanting is highly advisable (6-8+ hours). Drink now to 2050+. Served using Zalto glassware."
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "The bottle reminds us ‘Exceptional Selection’ which I like more than Premium or Reserve in many respects. Sounds a little old school, in the best sense. And practical in a way. This wine has a stipulation that yields must be 1.5kg per vine or less, and then chosen from the varied sites to make it up. There is 30% whole bunch in the ferment too. Spends almost two years in new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered to bottles.
First sniffs start with clove, char, sandalwood, espresso and dark choc-mint with whiffs of ripe plum, black olive and blueberry. Fleshy in the palate with a weave of firm, dusty tannin, more woody nuance with clove and char again, some twiggy elements, dark chocolate a strong feature, anise, salted plums. It’s full on, potent, breathy in a way, and feels a little overt in its ripeness and booze-soaked berry kind of feel, but the flow is good and the overall impact impressive, without teetering. Of an ilk, but done well."
£210.55 per case (6x75cl) Under Bond
Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc
Stuart McCloskey “A glorious and uninhibited feast of Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. Abundance is tamed by a skilful winemaker and natural acidity. The bouquet unfurls rather than sprints out of the glass with sea salt, preserved lemon, fresh fennel seed along with liquid minerals. Incredibly intense, but the clarity is vivid. As expected, the palate is generous, but far from overdone. Silken, expansive, nourishing and refreshingly juicy. Mouthwatering salinity along with an unmistakable pinch of white pepper. I am still tasting this wine after 5-minutes. Flavours are savoury, smoky, salty and deep. Complexity being its middle name and keeps you on the edge of your seat. How this might evolve (in bottle) is going to be a fascinating journey. Yes, it can be enjoyed today however, I believe a few years in the bottle will provide more satisfaction. 8-10 will deliver brilliance. Served using Zalto Universal glassware.”
£63.75 per case (6x75cl) Under Bond
£95.70 duty paid
Stuart McCloskey “Commonly, I find too many Aussie Riesling’s of the same ilk. Fashionably linear and often painful to enjoy in their youth. Hallelujah to a winemaker who doesn’t give a toss about fashion or critics. Here we have a winemaker who stays true to himself… The bouquet is a delight and fills the glass with heady aromatics of lavender, mandarin peel, jasmine, quince, confit citrus peel, smoked lemon and pear. Mineral tones are lifted with time in the glass. The palate feel is dry, generous and envelopes with buttered citrus, waves of spiced orchard fruits and a lovely lick of sea salt. The length is astonishing. Minerality and salty citrus notes resonate. Taut and slender, this is not. Instead, we have a generous, moreish and supremely balanced beauty… Liam suggests cellaring over the next 10-20 years. I would love to see this after a decade in the bottle. Today, this is merely brilliant. Served using Zalto Universal glassware.”
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "A bit of an ace in the hole is the white wine program at Wild Duck Creek. Liam Anderson of course had to twist David Anderson’s arms a few times to slip some white grapes into the winery, I imagine. Anyway, this riesling is barrel fermented and also sees stainless steel. This comes from two Wild Duck Creek vineyards. The label has been given a tweak from the one displayed too.
Delicious riesling, has this mellow feel to it, textural and soft, a savoury vein and yet cool, briny acidity keeping things fresh. It’s not marching to the beat of ‘classic Aus riesling’ tropes, far away, it’s clad in baked apple, nectarine, preserved lemon, ginger, oatmeal and light alpine herbs. It’s very detailed and very good with a curious, almost nourishing feel to the wine. Of course it’s persistent in its flavours, has enough tension to speak of cellaring time yielding good things. Fantastic outre expression."
£63.75 per case (6x75cl) Under Bond
£95.70 duty paid
Springflat Shiraz is the original flagship wine. It is a blend of five distinct estate grown vineyards in the Heathcote region. Parcels of fruit are made separately, utilising a small amount of whole bunches in the ferments for added texture, hand plunged, basket pressed and then matured in French and American oak hogsheads for up to 22 months, 40% of which are new.
Stuart McCloskey "Brooding in a word and takes some coaxing for sure. I advise decanting for at least 4-6 hours (more if you can spare the time). The blue and black fruits are tinged with minerals, which provides lift and added interest. Olive tapenade, bacon, orange zest, raspberry, woodsmoke and camphor provide the remainder of the olfactory ingredients. Rhône-esque, for sure (albeit sweeter)… The flavours, balance, tannins, and acidity are spot-on. The fruit is ripe, but wonderfully fresh. Lots of energy. Violette pastille and spiced fruitcake appear to be the hallmark for ’21. The tannins provide grip and acidity provides clarity. There’s a smoky overlay. I do enjoy the floral character too. There’s quality on show and the finish is extremely long. This feels like a ‘baby’ Reserve but fresher, and more approachable in its youth. Drink now or cellar for at least 15+ years. Served using Zalto glassware."
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "The Dry Bucket Tasting™, sometimes co-opted by GW, is synonymous with Wild Duck Creek and I figured that I best honour David Anderson’s long held belief that this is the best way to see these wines. Mind you, I kept the pours small-ish, lest I lose the powers to see the wines. This comes from five sites across the folio of WDCE vineyards. There’s around 40% new oak in the maturation process, which takes 20 months. Some of the oak is American.
Lusty red, lush and plush. Scents of booze-soaked forest berries, coconut, clove, turned earth, liquorice, old spice cupboard. The palate is full figured, very concentrated, laced with firm-ish, woody tannins, deep in its forest berry fruitiness, a splash of espresso, choc-mint in there, finishes with clove and spice-soaked tannin profile doing a good job of pucker and building chew. It feels a touch warm but in that a heartiness emerges, and, for the style, it doesn’t miss; there’s also this gentle minty-alpine herb thing happening working as a coolant. It’s probably best drunk in five years with the woody profile upfront. Let it mellow."
£98.30 per case (6x75cl) Under Bond
£141.00 duty paid
Stuart McCloskey "Brambly autumn fruits, pomegranate, iodine, graphite, framboise, smoked meats, rosemary, herbal, warmed earth and clove shine through on the nose. The palate is super dense and super succulent. The core is packed with sweet, blue and black fruits, Christmas cake, sweet spice, dark chocolate, anise and black cherry. The tannins are soft and pliable. Acidity and tart red fruits provide welcome balance. Moreover, it is getting better and better in my glass. Thoroughly enjoyable today but will certainly provide better drinking in 3-5 years’ time. Of course, and given the quality, this will easily age for a decade and more. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware."
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front "It’s such a fun wine to drink, all slurpy and loose knit, lucid in red and black berry fruitiness, ripe, round, smooth, supple, a jelly meets currants meets jube thing going on. Elements of herb and spice, some sweetness for sure but a sappy bitterness in tannin is pleasingly there and a light dusting of clove-cinnamon spice keeps some other elements in play. Heady, overt, party time gear for big red lovers, but done well."
£63.30 per case (6x75cl) Under Bond
£99.00 duty paid
Cabernet Sauvignon / Cabernet Franc
Stuart McCloksey "84% Cabernet Sauvignon & 16% Cabernet Franc. At first, the nose comes across slightly feral then soon turns into a black swan. Potent, for sure and brimming with blackberry, black cherry, plum, kirsch, lavender, graphite, menthol, blood orange, liquorice, rose petal, sweet spice and warm sea kelp. The ‘marine’ aromatics build with time in the glass, which I adore. There are layers of intensely ripe fruit, tamed with graphite, minerals and florals. Tannins provide gentle grip along with a touch of white pepper and spiced red fruit. Opulent and fleshy, albeit succinctly controlled. Incredible length. I am looking forward to seeing how this wine develops in the years to come. Granted, it can be enjoyed today however, and personally, I would find a dark, cooling home and return in 8-10 years. Served using Zalto glassware."
£89.55 per case (6x75cl) Under Bond
£130.50 duty paid
What better way to celebrate our sixth consecutive Decanter award as Best Australia Specialist than with Halliday’s Wine of the Year.
The Decanter Retailer Awards recognises and celebrates the very best wine retailers in the UK. From the best wine shops to national retailers, in-store and online, the awards offer wine drinkers an indispensable guide to outstanding retail experiences across the nation.
Applicants are invited to submit their respective entrance(s) along with supporting evidence ahead of the judging, which is lengthy (June to August) and super-rigid. Everyone goes through a three-round process before final decisions are announced.
Unquestionably, Decanter is the most important, global retailer awards – the Oscars of our industry. With great honour, we are thrilled to be declared Decanter's Best Australian Specialist 2023, an award which we have now won six-years in succession.
‘You feel secure buying from them, they know what they’re doing – the range is fantastic and it was a pleasure using the website,’ said one judge of The Vinorium. ‘Great range and depth,’ said another."
The team and I would like to thank Decanter for continuing to see our magical ‘Aussie’ work – we are so proud. Of course, we must also thank you, our loyal friends and customers who ensure we have the foundations to submit our yearly application.
Unsurprisingly, our 99-point Yangarra offer sold-out within 24-hours.
We have managed to secure a small parcel of additional stock, orders will be despatched w/c 9th October.
We are thrilled to share the 99-point Yangarra Estate Vineyard Old Vine Grenache 2021 (McLaren Vale) for a snip at £33.95 per bottle…
In the recently published 2024 Halliday Wine Companion awards, the panel of judges (made up of James Halliday, Campbell Mattinson, Dave Brookes, Jane Faulkner, Jeni Port, Mike Bennie, Ned Goodwin MW, Philip Rich and Shanteh Wale) reported that,
“You could have blown us over with a feather. The same grape variety, from the same producer, has somehow managed to win our Wine of the Year for the second time in the space of only a few years. We taste over 8000 wines each year. When we sit down the judge the Awards, we have no idea what the wines are, from start to finish.
The chances therefore of a grenache from the same estate in McLaren Vale making it through all the various stages and discussions to come out on top, twice; well, they’re somewhere between Buckley’s and none. And yet Yangarra Estate has done just that. Its High Sands Grenache 2016 took out the Wine of the Year in 2020; this year its Old Vine Grenache 2021 has achieved the same feat. On top of that, the voting in favour of this year’s winner was emphatic.”
"It’s a giant killer. It’s not the top wine in Yangarra Estate’s own grenache hierarchy and yet in an independent review, against wines at all price levels, it reigned supreme."
James Halliday “Ex 1946 Blewitt Springs bush vines planted in a deep sandy dune that Yangarra call The Beach; dry-grown, bunch-sorted, wild yeast, open fermented and basket pressed. Bright clear though deep crimson hue; scented/perfumed, and I'm gone for all money without even tasting it. And I haven't fooled myself. Its red fruit sundae glistens with dew drops on a spider's web, yet also has a savoury echo towards the finish.”
Campbell Mattinson “It’s a giant killer. It’s not the top wine in Yangarra Estate’s own grenache hierarchy and yet in an independent review, against wines at all price levels, it reigned supreme. It was grown on bush vines that have been doing their thing in the Blewitt Springs subregion since they went into the ground in 1946. James Halliday, when he first put the wine near his nose, said ‘I’m gone for all money without even tasting it’. This wine has it all: scent, fruit, savouriness and structure. It is rock solid, rolled gold, quality.”
Under Bond @ £153.75 per 6 pack