And now for the big guns. I’ve deliberately tasted the 2010 Dowie Doole Shirazes in ascending order of price, as I find it endlessly fascinating how producers differentiate wines at various price points within their range. If the standard wine is all about drinkability, and the Cali Road character, the Reserve is concerned with packing as much in as possible.
Without wanting to suggest its proportions are ridiculous (far from it), this wine is by far the most dense, firmly flavoured of the three. Oak is present, but I’m pleased the nose throws primarily fruit-driven aromas, really liquerous and rich, very much in the plum spectrum. These flavours aren’t challenging; in fact, the aroma seems simply a much bigger, denser version of the entry level wine, more of everything in every way but never losing the rich ease of the region’s Shiraz, which I adore.
The palate, while fully flavoured, is most striking for its ease and flow. This is such a mellifluous wine, moving gently through the entry and middle palate, pushing intense plum fruit out from its brisk line to cover the tongue with flavour. There are prickles of acid at the edges, nicely fresh but mostly undisturbed by the thickness of the wine’s flavour and its generous body. It’s probably full bodied, but comes across more medium, because it’s fundamentally a relaxed wine, keen to be drunk rather than dissected. I like the bright red swell through the after palate, and the silty tannins that settle on the finish are delicious.
I’ve felt that some previous Reserve wines have been a bit oak-dominant and showy, but this is all high class deliciousness; sexy, sensuous and worth the money.