When I was researching this post on Wendouree, I came across an article in the Wine Spectator about a very successful Houston heart surgeon who had built an impressive wine collection. Of particular pride for the collector was a substantial vertical collection of Wendouree reds – 90 bottles from 1990 to 2003. (The Pulse of a Collector: A surgeon builds a cellar that would get anyone’s heart racing by Jennifer Fielder, Wine Spectator, 30 June 2007)
The article brought back memories of a collection I once inventoried for another doctor. He also had a passion for Wendouree verticals. Both doctors created their cellars for long-term drinking pleasure. As the heart surgeon explained, “There’s no wine I buy for investment purposes. They are made to enjoy, not just to look at like trophies on the wall.”
The decision to buy multiple vintages of the Wendouree range may also have a little bit to do with keeping your place on the winery’s coveted mailing list. (No easy task!) Wendouree proprietors Tony and Lity Brady only sell wine via their mailing list. Allocations are strictly limited and prices are deliberately kept at reasonable levels. Few customers pass up the opportunity to take what’s on offer!
The Bradys see themselves as custodians of a priceless treasure. Many of the vines on the 28 acre Clare Valley property date back to 1892. The beautiful historic stone winery is also over 100 years old.
The Bradys purchased “A.P. Birks Wendouree” (the full name, as it still appears on the label) in 1974 and have limited production to straight varietals or blends of shiraz, malbec, mataro, cabernet sauvignon, and a dessert muscat of Alexander.
The wines are meant for the cellar – one of the main reasons why collectors hold onto their verticals. As wine writer Jamie Goode commented, “I have to be honest: these are my sort of wines. Unusual for modern Australian reds, they’re not terribly alcoholic. They are wines for the long haul, and sacrifice some early drinkability and seductive deliciousness from some future development –.. [Read More]