Make no mistake, the Dowie Doole California Road and Reserve Shirazes from 2008 are very good wines. The single vineyard wine, in particular, is a beautifully characterful, limpid expression of McLaren Vale Shiraz. One could argue, though, this producer’s stylistic philosophy finds its most satisfying expression in the regular Shiraz, reviewed here.
The nose is a little spicy and a lot fruity in a typically straightforward McLaren Vale manner, all liquorous red plums and dusted cocoa powder. There’s some savoury aniseed too that is part sweet and part herbal. The aroma profile has a clearly defined shape to it, simple and forthright. If it’s slightly blunt, it’s also enticing, very much in the manner of an old-fashioned baked dessert.
The palate is where things come together. Entry starts small but quickly crescendos to a mid-palate of bright, fresh berry fruit and edges of fennel. The fruit flavours are clean and well-defined, if straightforward, and (as with the nose) suggest an expression akin to the guilty pleasures of liqueur. The acidity is quite bright and causes the wine to jump around over the tongue as it progresses to the after palate. Here the flavours lift and become quite savoury, aniseed and coffee pushing the wine towards a decent finish.
What I like most about Dowie Doole reds is they chase deliciousness above all else. So despite this wine’s relatively simple flavours and a bright structure, it is absolutely delicious, and there’s something deeply attractive about a reasonably priced Shiraz that drinks as this wine does. Don’t hesitate.