I’ve tasted quite a few Dowie Doole wines over the past few months, and in most cases they have been an unpretentious pleasure. This wine, the flagship Shiraz in the range, is interesting to me as it’s the first “serious” red I’ve tasted in the portfolio, and I wonder how the approach shown in the standard range translates to something more upscale.
The most evident artifact of this wine’s position is a hell of a lot of oak, of the Bounty Bar sort, and a density of fruit not seen in the lower rungs. On opening, the wine fairly yelled its seriousness across the room. Give it a good decant — or in my case a couple of days of air — and the seriousness remains intact, minus the outré oak character and volume. So do give it some time, and you’ll be rewarded with a powerful nose of fleshy, liquerous fruit and luscious oak, young but quite well integrated, and curiously attractive subsidiary notes of licorice and spice.
The palate is characterised mostly by a flood of clean fruit. Despite the oak and dense structure, the fruit flows freely through the mouth, showing that especially nice red/black berry McLaren Vale character that fans of the region will recognise and rejoice in. More licorice and oak flavours accompany the berry fruit, along with a slightly astringent, bitter finish that should calm with some more time in the bottle. Certainly, the fruit remains present and attractive along the entire line. Nice long finish.
This is a good wine and what I was hoping for from this maker — a reserve-level wine that, in some respects, takes an obvious approach (oak, density, etc) but which nevertheless retains the fun of its lower priced siblings.
Update: subsequent conversations with the winery reveal this was bottled in November 2009, for release mid-2010. I should imagine my day 2 experience will be closer to the wine as it will be on release.