The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

2005 Wild Duck Creek range THIS week’s col­umn (right) was writ­ten be­fore I tasted the just-re­leased 2005 wines. The qual­ity and con­sis­tency across a range of va­ri­eties and al­co­hol lev­els is ex­cep­tional. It is a hope­less task to dis­cuss each wine, but there is a com­mon fac­tor of lus­cious, vel­vety, sup­ple fruit, and in no in­stance does the al­co­hol run away with the wine. All ex­cept two were 14.5 per cent or less. The two mon­sters were the 2005 Re­serve Shi­raz (95 points, $125) with an al­co­hol level of 16 per cent that con­trib­utes sweet­ness more than heat and does not show dead fruit. The 2005 Spring Flat Shi­raz (94 points, $50) comes in at 15.5 per cent but, once again, the vel­vety ar­ray of black fruits sim­ply gives rise to silky mouth-feel. From this point on, the wines range from 14.5 per cent to 13.5 per cent, and my points were as fol­lows: 2005 Spring Flat Shi­raz Press­ings (95 points, $125, 14.5 per cent), the only ques­tion be­ing why it was not back­blended with the shi­raz; 2005 Yel­low Ham­mer Hill Shi­raz Mal­bec (93 points, $40, 14.5 per cent); 2004 Home­stead Mer­lot (91 points, $30, 13.5 per cent); 2005 The Blend (caber­net mer­lot, 95 points, $40, 14.5 per cent); 2005 Re­serve Caber­net Sauvi­gnon (95 points, $130, 14 per cent); and 2005 Alan’s Vat 1 Caber­net (92 points, $55, 14 per cent). Phone or fax: (03) 5433 3133. James Halliday

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