I really liked the 2007 vintage of this wine, so approached the current release with some anticipation. As an aside, it amuses me sometimes to read winery press releases on wines from hot years – it seems no-one ever picks after a heatwave. And so it is with this wine, picked before the heat, with the intent of producing the lighter and more easygoing Dowie Doole house style. For the most part, I would say this is a success.
But vintage conditions will shine through, and here they translate to a very slightly cheap-smelling confectionary fruit note that, thankfully, seems to blow off fairly quickly. Once settled, the wine expresses as much darker, with black fruit and sexy nougat-marzipan oak the key aromas. It’s chewy (if an aroma can be described thus) and dense, and smells very honest to me. This is the smell of a winemaker getting the best from a difficult vintage, even if that involves applying a liberal dose of oak.
The palate flows freely, and is full of clean fruit and more of that obvious, but tasty, oak. Entry is clean and brisk, leading to a more complex middle palate where a nice earthiness contributes a sense of rusticity. Body is medium, as is intensity. The after palate is a bit lighter and shows caramel flavours plus quite simple berry fruits. The finish lingers well with fruit flavour.
Not a wine for lovers of sharply varietal Cabernet. Definitely a wine for those who want to enjoy their winter evenings. Tonight, I fall in the latter camp.