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: Willow Creek

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Willow Creek

www.willow-creek.com.au

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North 3926

Cellar Door: Daily: (10-5)

Ph: (03) 5989 7448

label

The Willow Creek vineyard was established in 1988 as a partnership of three families, the Ball, Knowles & Harris families with the former two families still running it.

The 12 ha of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc is supplemented with small parcels from local growers. The vines are only irrigated in extreme drought conditions.

 

Geraldine McFaul (ex Stonier) has recently replaced Phil Kereny as wine-maker. The Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet are wild yeast fermented. The budget, drink now range is the WCV range. The premium Tulum range comes from the estate or nearby growers.

The Salix restaurant is one of the region's most respected, with a wine list that includes many great Burgundy Grand Cru wines.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Willow Creek OíLeary Block Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, MV6 and D2V5 clones, first release as single block release, fragrant red cherry and dark plums with some forest complexity and bright cherry blossom florals, concentrated, long and earthy palate with powdery tannins and good length (****1/2)

Willow Creek Pinot Noir 2012

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2015, an outstanding vintage, supple, medium and focussed red cherry and strawberry with mint and rose petal notes, opens up to some earthy beetroot aspects, firm herbal-edged stemmy acidity with clove/cinnamon oak, fine tannins and a dab of dark chocolate on the finish (****1/2)

Willow Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2015, aromatic, minerally, barrel fermented style, blackcurrant, lime zest and passionfruit flavour with restrained grassiness, thereís some flint and garden herb in there as well, itís a delicious flavour mix although I would prefer a bit more acid to cut through the texture (****)

Willow Creek Rose 2014

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2015, from D5V12 clone of Pinot Noir, fermented in old barrels, very low yield, delicate and pure red cherry and strawberry with barrel ferment creaminess and some yeasty lees notes, refreshing crisp finish (***1/2)

Willow Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, barrel fermented, creamy passionfruit, cut grass, and lemon sherbet with flint and cassis notes, some garden herb complexity and well balanced acidity (****)

Willow Creek Brut 2007

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2013, sparkling from 60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, disgorged in Dec 2011 so has had four years tirage, rich mousse, delicate apple, passionfruit and strawberry with almond biscuit and honey notes, fresh lemon acid spine and a touch sea spray on the long finish (****)

Willow Creek Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2013, whole bunch fermented, full malo, rather reductive sulphurous nose, long and evenly weighted palate shows lemon butter, honey dew melon and nectarine with mealy notes and lots of matchstick, bright and crunchy lemony acidity with balanced spicy cinnamon/hazelnut oak, allow some decanting time for the sulphur to blow off (***1/2)

Willow Creek Pinot Gris 2012

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, richer, leesy barrel fermented style showing estery pear drop and baked apple with nougat, musk and cinnamon notes, thereís some toasty honeysuckle and almond biscuit nuances, fine briny phenolics and crisp lemony acidity† (****)

Willow Creek Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ( $40)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, from a very good vintage, silky and foresty red cherry, strawberry and plum with mint leaf and beetroot notes, minerally and medium bodied palate is framed around a core of stemmy acidity, tightly knit fine tannins with a gentle touch of dark chocolate and warm oak spice on the finish, quite elegant and balanced (****1/2)

Willow Creek Brut 2006

Purchased: Not ( $40)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, equal measures of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, minimal dosage, four years on lees, creamy and seamless white peach, apple and strawberry with evolving autolytic almond and toasted bread complexity, generous mousse but never loses drive and balance (****1/2)

Willow Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Purchased: Not ( $35)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented, creamy textured style with muted primary flavours such as blackcurrant, cut grass and passionfruit, minerally, finishes with some red capsicum, flint and snow pea notes, persistent chalky phenolics (****)

Willow Creek Pinot Gris 2011

Purchased: Not ( $35)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented, pear and melon with honeysuckle and almond biscuit nuances, polished viscous/creamy mouth feel with briny oyster shell phenolics on the bone-dry finish (****)

Willow Creek Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ( $40)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, rich honeydew melon, peach, fig and nougat with some honeycomb and brulee notes, leesy and creamy palate with tangy orange rind acidity, flint and almond oak on the finish (****)

Willow Creek Cabernet 2008

Purchased: Not ( $40)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, minerally and medium bodied cassis and redcurrant with menthol and anise notes, persistent dusty tannins with chocolate/cedar oak support (***1/2)

Willow Creek Tulum Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($34)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2011, rich and supple black cherry and dark plum with spice, forest floor, and game notes, glycerolly and medium-full bodied with firm chassis of chalky tannins, nervy acidity and cedar/clove/nutmeg oak, seemed to finish fractionally shorter than the Gevrey-Chambertin Burgundies I was tasting in the same bracket but certainly not disgraced (****)

Willow Creek Tulum Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, wild yeast ferment with partial malo, fine and elegant style showing melon, white peach with some grapefruit acidity contrasting with pineapple sweetness, lemon butter palate with well judged toasty French oak, tangy grapefruit finish, lovely balance (****)

Willow Creek WCV Pinot Saignee 2006

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, pale pink colour, fresh and lively light strawberry and cherry flavours but quite dry, spicy with a touch of oregano, crisp, one of the better Pinot-derived Roses (****)

Willow Creek Tulum Pinot Noir 2005

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, wild yeast ferment, unfined and unfiltered, sweet and meaty redcurrant, red cherry and slightly raisened plum, medium bodied with appealing clove, cinnamon and forest floor touches, funky fruit-driven style although the fruit seems to be a bit stressed (***1/2)

Willow Creek Tulum Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, elegant up front fruit expression with blackcurrant and spicy plum with plenty of mint and a hint of tomato vine, medium bodied with balanced cedar oak, there is a touch of greeness about the tannins and hollowness of fruit on the finish that stop it from reaching the very top echelon (***1/2)

Willow Creek Tulum Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: October 2006, tangy nectarine, fig and some emergent butterscotch, buttery/nutty palate, delicate oak handling, only let down by an excessive sugar twitch on an otherwise dry finish (***1/2)

Willow Creek Benedictus Pinot Noir 2004

Purchased: Not ($50)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: October 2006, black cherry and raspberry aromas, palate is quite smooth although not as bright as the Tulum Pinot Noir, pepper and menthol features, tangy finish with well handled oak (***1/2)

Willow Creek Tulum Pinot Noir 2004

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: October 2006, bright red cherry and raspberry aromas, palate is quite smooth with some pepper and menthol features, dense tannins (***)

Willow Creek Tulum Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: October 2006, redcurrant and black cherry with lots of leafy and minty features, medium bodied with a bit of cigar box oak, a hint of greenness in the tannins but finish is not grippy (***)

Willow Creek WCV Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: October 2006, fruity unoaked style, lots of lemon, stonefruit and melon with nutty less features on palate, zesty finish (***)