There was a curious chap at the Geddes winery during vintage. Canadian, intense, always tending his myriad ferments, some of which were as small as a few hundred kilos. We had some good chats about yeasts and aroma compounds, and he taught me some neat cellar skills. Turns out this fellow is Wes Pearson, sensory analyst at the AWRI and the winemaking third of Dodgy Brothers Wines.
Before I get to the wine, let us pause for a moment to reflect on its packaging. I’ve seen a few tricks over the years to try and make labels more appealing, but never have I seen one applied upside-down, a design quirk which is carried through to the Dodgy Brothers Web site too. The whole is remarkably effective, helped in part by what is, on closer inspection, stock and printing of very high quality.
“Liberators of Fine Fruit” declares the label, and I suppose that’s a neat way of describing the approach taken here. Those endless parcels of fruit, from some well-regarded vineyards across McLaren Vale, come together in bottlings like this, a GSM blend from the oft-vilified 2011 vintage. Theoretically, cherry picking vineyards is one way to deal with a difficult vintage, so I’m curious to see what the Dodgy Brothers have managed to do here.
It’s certainly a lighter style, 15.5% ABV notwithstanding, and very expressive aromatically. Grenache is at the fore with pretty red fruits and delicate florals. Richer, meatier notes back this up along with a decent whack of oak. I like the way this smells; it has good freshness and definition, and doesn’t show any green or weedy notes. Placed up against a wine of a warmer vintage, it would no doubt look less dense, but that’s neither here nor there.
The palate is of medium weight and shows good continuity from the nose. Squeaky clean red fruits, snapped twig, dark chocolate and savoury dark berries. It’s not massively complex at this stage, and structurally it’s pretty easygoing, but its flavours are delicious and balanced. Alcohol gives a gloss to mouthfeel and perhaps adds to an impression of sweetness at the cost of slight heat through the finish.
Nice wine, then, and makes me curious to see what Wes has up his sleeve with his 2012s and 2013s.
Dodgy Brothers Wines