This, Dowie Doole’s second label red, has been a reliable visitor to my house over the last few years. It’s invariably drinkable and full of flavour, showing the best face of a quaffer with surprisingly few compromises. It’s not a rarified wine in provenance or intent, but it’s usually tasty, which is quite enough to please me, most days.
The 2010 red is an especially good release. It’s so easy, so juicy, so luxurious. The nose is warm and fully fruited, showing red and black fruits embedded in a comfortingly spiced lattice. The vibe is plush and generous, as it always is with this wine, but what lifts this vintage above most is its quiet balance. This is, despite the style, a gentle wine, almost delicate in its placement. Totally unforced, this wine doesn’t so much prompt extended sniffing as it does a taste, and quick.
My lack of patience is repaid with a mouthful of easy flavour. Entry prickles a bit with acid, ushering bright red fruit onto the middle palate, where it is joined by some extra layers of fruit flavour as well as spice and soft oak. Intensity is impressive for a wine at this price point, as is the flavour profile’s avoidance of easy sweetness. There’s sweet fruit, for sure, but overall the profile tilts towards savouriness, without sacrificing drinkability. The after palate is slightly muted, while the finish rises strongly with spice, some edgy oak and more dark fruit.
I have long admired Dowie Doole wines for their ease and lack of pretension. As lovely as the higher priced labels can be, I think this producer’s particular stylistic biases mean its everyday quaffer, this wine, stands above the crowd.