Duke’s in Porongurup Road is one of the best boutique wineries in WA producing outstanding Riesling and high quality Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon – as well as excellent sparkling and rosé wines in a beautiful cellar door at the foot of the stunning Porongurup ranges (and next door to the brilliant Thai restaurant, Maleeya’s).
Each year Duke and Hilde Ranson bring their wines to the city for the tasting pleasure of their many followers and friends, and again this year the Nedlands Rugby Club (Duke’s old stomping ground) was the venue for this much anticipated event.
On display were the newly released Rieslings, their brand new rosé, the yet to be released 2014 Magpie Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, all the current reds, sparkling Riesling and sparkling Shiraz – a fantastic line-up with some top notch cheeses as well.
2015 Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling – another in the long line of outstanding Rieslings in the Magpie Hill range – pale, intensely aromatic, spicy with lifted lime and apple blossom notes; the palate is beautifully balanced with lime and crunchy green apple flavours; crisp, dry, long and satisfying finish. Wonderful drinking but as with all of Duke’s Riesling will repay cellaring – if you have the willpower! (96)
2015 Single Vineyard Riesling – possibly the best of this line so far – apple and lemon aromas, beautiful crisp fruit on the palate, perfectly balanced minerally acidity; brilliant (95).
2015 Autumn Riesling – less sweetness than previous vintages and Duke indicated it is about where, after years of experimenting, he wants it to be – with the name changed next year from Autumn to Off Dry. Aromatic, citrus and spice, with a fruit driven palate supported by a hint of residual sugar. Well suited to Asian and other spicy foods (91).
2015 Rosé – for the first time a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, I think this is the best they have produced. Pale salmon/orange hue, looking for all the world as if from Languedoc , strawberry and cherry aromas, with a palate redolent of raspberry and citrus; beautifully crisp and dry, this will be savoured around our house over the spring and summer months so long as I can get my hands on some – it will be sure to sell out quickly. (94)
2014 Magpie Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – elegant perfumed nose, with aromas of blackcurrant, chocolate and plums, fine but pronounced tannins, juicy and vibrant palate with mulberry and plum flavours. Only recently bottled it is still settling, but will prove to be equal of any in this excellent range (95)
2013 Invitation Cabernet Sauvignon – each year Duke asks another of the region’s winemakers to supervise the production of his Invitation range – this one from Michael Staniford, who has made wines for, among others, Alkoomi, Lakes Folly and Old Kent River. This shows a plummy blackcurrant nose with hints of olive leaf; chocolate and plum flavours, juicy fruit, firm tannins and good supporting oak. Good cellaring potential (94).