Dowie Doole Merlot 2008

A less-than-ideal tasting at the recent Brisbane Fine Wine Festival nonetheless left me intrigued by this wine, and I’ve been keen to try it again in more relaxed circumstances. At the time, in a lineup of McLaren Vale reds, this stood for the clarity and freshness of its flavours. Picked “before the heatwave,” the fruit going into this wine is mostly Merlot, with 7% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

Pretty lean and tight initially, a good deal of swirling yields dividends in the form of dark berry fruit aromas, some spice and the sort of herbal notes that remind me of raindrops on young foliage. It’s a straightforward aroma profile in some respects, perhaps deceptively so, as its coherence tends to mask (in a positive sense) reasonable complexity. A bit of vanilla ice cream oak rounds things off nicely.
The palate is full of clean fruit which, happily, confirms my initial experience of this wine. Like the Teusner Riebke, this is all about fresh, delicious fruit flavour, and this it delivers in the context of a style that manages to be distinctive and approachable at the same time. Quite bound up on entry, it takes a few seconds for flavours to burst onto the tongue. Mostly savoury dark fruit, spice and a bit of dark chocolate flow well through the middle palate, becoming slightly lighter as the wine moves to the back of the mouth. It’s is only just medium bodied, so the decadent vitality of its flavour profile is especially pleasing. Powdery tannins provide a nice foil to the directness of the fruit, leading to firm, dry finish with a cheeky kick of sweet fruit at the last minute.
It could do with a few months’ rest to unlock the full potential of the fruit, but I am enjoying this wine tremendously for its balance, freshness and easy charm. A great example of the triumph of drinkability over contrived style.

Dowie Doole
Price: $A21
Closure: Stelvin

2 thoughts on “Dowie Doole Merlot 2008

    • I’m really glad you enjoyed it. This type of wine doesn’t get the sort of recognition it deserves. Which, perhaps, is the point. 🙂

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