Image: Winemaker Chris Thomas of Dowie Doole (photo by thewinemuse)
While it seems that McLaren Vale is flavour of the month on Wine Muse, it is most likely because they are a region that is working hard to keep their offering fresh. There is plenty of interest to be found here because they are an established region with access to old vineyards and they already have plenty of experience with the classics. However, the winemakers of the region come with an established reputation for being an innovative bunch and one that is not afraid of working together.
At a recent tasting I attended, I was very lucky to have winemaker Chris Thomas to take me through just some of their range of wines and I found nary a dud among the wines that I tasted. I include in that statement a wine that perhaps you might remember, my wine of the month for April 2012: Dowie Doole G&T 11 which is Dowie Doole’s more-ish take on a fresh and fruity Rioja.
It is two of their white wines that I find the most exciting – the Dowie Doole Vermentino and the Dowie Doole Chenin Blanc. The chenin blanc is one of Australia’s benchmarks for this grape and comes from vines up to 80 years old. And the vermentino, in only its 2nd release is certainly good drinking and is one to watch as the team get into their stride with this Italian grape.
Dowie Doole Chenin Blanc 2013
A dry style of chenin blanc that sits lightly on your tongue while showing riper aromas and flavours than the body suggests. It is in fact a single vineyard wine from the Blewitt Springs sub-region, which for $18 is a remarkably good price. The citrus, nectarine fruit is perfumed with honeysuckle and round red delicious apples.
Stainless steel fermented with some time on lees has barely tamed the zesty acid that continues in a fine line from the front, rounding slightly in the middle and then comes back into line on the finish. A finish, which is fresh, lip licking and long. The team has left about 2 grammes of residual sugar just for texture and balance and is barely perceptible. It is a wine that I would buy by the 6 pack and drink a few bottles now and a few bottles in 7 or so years when some honeyed development will round it out nicely.
Date: July 2013 Price: $18 Value: $$$$ Drink: Now – 7 years
Dowie Doole Vermentino 2013
A grape variety that is gaining a confident following for the domestic versions that then spills onto the imported versions. This is only its second vintage and only 168 cases were made. It got all the attention from basket pressing, wild ferment over 3 – 4 weeks in old French barriques, and left on lees for 4 months.
This lees contact has given a pastry base to the citrus and white peach fruit and a silky polished weight and texture to the wine. Juicy, elegantly medium bodied and long on flavour. Drink now and enjoy this wine with a spaghetti marinara or chicken salad.
Date: July 2013 Price: $25 Value: $$$ Drink: Now
Dowie Doole Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
A wine from the vintage that has produced some greats following an early heat spell where the McLaren Vale experienced nearly a weeks worth of temperatures above 40 crazy degrees C in preceding November. This has hallmark McLaren Vale bright fruit with soft tannins.
Ripe cassis, chocolatey earth and a smack of vanilla and brown spice literally glide around the palate. It is very easy to drink, retaining the Dowie Doole elegance of body, juicy fruit and an alcohol that does not slug you. A good wine for those slouchy couch days with close friends who like to share. Although it might be harder to share it that you initially imagined.
Date: July 2013 Price: $25 Value: $$$ Drink: Now – 7+ years
Dowie Doole Cali Road Shiraz 2010
Winemaker Chris Thomas says this a ‘verbose’ shiraz but not in alcohol. A quite insightful comment actually as it does speak McLaren underneath its lashings of American oak (from French coopers). Incidentally, the Cali refers to California Road in the McLaren Vale.
Rich in coconut, cinnamon spice, earth and ripe blackberry the fruit is fresh and vibrant. Give it some time for the fruit to come back to the fore and back to the finish which is currently telling more of a story of the oak than the fruit.
Date: July 2013 Price: $60 Value: $$$ Drink: 5 – 7+ years
Dowie Doole Moxie NV Sparkling Shiraz
One for lovers of sparkling reds with soft fruit wrapped in velvet. The colour is ripe, black plum purple and the aromas of cinnamon, blackfruit, toffee and caramel rise from the glass. It is however the wash of sweet fruit that defines this style of wine and the Moxie is sweet, juicy and succulent. If anything, it might be a little too sweet for me to enjoy more than a glass or two but I can certainly see the attraction of bold vivacity and curvaceous profile. I can safely say that it lives up to its name.
Date: July 2013 Price: $25 Value: $$ Drink: Now
For more visit http://www.dowiedoole.com