Willunga Creek Wines is the brain child and output of David Cheesley. Originally, grapes were sold but David could see the trend of lower grape prices were coming so he ventured into wine making. Some grapes are still sold, with wine being produced since 2002. The wine is made by either DiFabio Estate or Phil Christensen. The vines are tendered in an organic manner with only Sulphur sprays being used. David started with selling his wine in his restaurant where Fino currently resides. While this was in operation David was spending his “spare time” in renovating an old shearing shed into what is their current cellar door.
The cellar door has character, with clever use of wood (the old slab bar top is magnificent). The jewel of the crown is the million dollar views where you can see right from the cellar door (Willunga foothills) right through to the ocean. The cellar door can be used as a function venue and during the warmer months David serves cheese platters. During the colder months curries are served. These curries are made by INDI’s (in Crafers and on Greenhill Road). This year there will be a Butter Chicken and Jogan Josh for $15 per serve. On the Sunday & Monday of the coming June long weekend will be when the curries start for the year. The outdoor area now has all weather blinds and heaters to keep you comfortable all year round – so just a lovely place to be for a lazy Sunday lunch.
David sells some of his wine overseas and so he tends to enter his wines into the London International Wine Challenge and the Hong Kong Wine Challenge where his wines have done quite well (check out his web site to see a number of awards).
Black Duck Range
2008 Sauvignon Blanc
Not tasted – noted that the wine is from McLaren Vale.
2006 Merlot ($A25)
The distinctive plum aromas as one would expect from a Merlot. When you drink this wine you just think how smooth and easy drinking this wine is! There are plums and red fruits here combined with some very soft oak tannins – from the old oak maturation. It is interesting that David says that his hardest work is to get people to try this wine at the cellar door. Once this is done there is a good chance that a purchase will be made. I would drink this wine now and I think it would go well with one of their Rogan Josh curries.
2005 Shiraz ($A25)
The aromas are dominated by spice – notably pepper and nutmeg. As is the theme of Willunga Creek Wines the wine is very soft but is strong on structure. As you would expect from a McLaren vale Shiraz there is a mouthful of plums, berries, cherries all wrapped up in soft oak tannins and the whole mixture just lingers. Lets keep with the curry theme and go for a Beef Massaman to match with this wine.
2005 Cabernet ($A25)
Real Cabernet nose here. Obvious Blackcurrent with a dusty vanilla oak ending. As the wine sits in the glass, it opens up with hints of flowers. There is dark fruits and capsicum flavors with a dry vanillan oak finish. How about a Moroccan Beef with Vegetable and dates.
2005 Cabernet Merlot ($A18.50)
This wine is interesting as the minor component of the blend is so dominate! The plums of the Merlot are more obvious than the black fruits and capsicum of the Cabernet. The soft oak tannins are here again. A sweet potato and chick pea korma curry would be an interesting match.
OuT foR a dUcK Range
The labels are from commissioned paintings by artist Graham Middleton, with the originals being on display in the cellar door. The current painting for the wine below depicts a parody of the 2006/07 Ashes cricket series where Australia won 5 tests to zero.
2007 Cabernet Shiraz ($A22)
Now for my favorite wine from the range. Yet again a Cabernet and Shiraz blend creating a good outcome. There is that sweet fruit plum with a slight vanilla aroma. The flavors are a mixture of plums and blackcurrent with some slight herbaceousness that blends well with the soft oak to produce a long lasting effect. Sorry, no curry this time – bring me steak.