Though the Merlot occupies a special place in my heart, there’s no doubt the core of Dowie Doole’s red wine portfolio centres on Shiraz. This wine is the standard label.
The nose is liqueurous, dark and seamless. There’s a big hit of coconut oak, which is regionally typical, and the whole vibe is very much old school McLaren Vale Shiraz in the best possible way. What I like about this region’s wines above those of the nearby Barossa is a less spiced, more fluid flavour profile, which for me ramps up drinkability. Plus, that hint of earth and dark chocolate that so characterises this region’s Shiraz, and which are very much present in this wine, are like catnip to me. Indeed, I’m a fan of the McLaren Vale. This stuff is dangerously drinkable.
On entry, charmingly self-effacing, moving through to the middle palate with a decent blast of fruit and a correspondingly firm dose of oak. Acid seems subdued, creating a relaxed, thick vibe on the middle palate. Plenty of berries, dusty cocoa, oak and earth. A clean after palate and finish follow, showing as much oak as fruit. It’s difficult to use American oak and get a subtle result and, for some tastes, the level and character of the oak here might be overwhelming, especially considering the appeal of the fruit’s flavour profile.
This is the kind of wine that will slay guests at a barbeque, being the kind of robust and drinkable red that can cut through the haze of casual drinking. I’m very much looking forward to tasting the California Road and Reserve wines.