McLaren Vale Wines – Dowie Doole

Dowie Doole has moved it’s tasting facility to it’s headquarters on California Road. They were previously at the Salopian Inn with Gemtree wines until recent times. The new facility is well set up at the end of a small vineyard that belongs to Gilligan Wines. The name Gilligan is synonymous with Dowie Doole as the General Manager and a Viticulturist by that name works at Dowie Doole. They have a vineyard on California Road and in Blewitt Springs.

A structured tasting is offered where 5 wines are offered with tasting notes and 3 cheeses in a very pleasant surroundings of the tasting room. The tastings are by appointment only.  They are also working on the outside areas where functions for both inside and outside will be possible.

Now the wines…………

Second Nature Range
2010 Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc ($A18)
This is all you would expect from an Adelaide Hills Sauvy – aromas of grass and passionfruit that continues to flavors of straw and passionfruit. What I was not expecting was the citrus flavors as there was a really good level of acid in the wine. I also got a sense of some residual sugar just before the acid kicks in. For those that like this variety why not check this out – you could do worse, you could have a kiwi inspired wine.

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz / Merlot ($A18)
When first opened the aromas were quite closed but eventually opened up to reveal a fresh berry compote with a small amount of freshly cut mint sprinkled over the berries. The berries continue on the palate with a fresh cherry chaser. A nice wine for this price point.

Dowie Doole Range
2010 Chenin Blanc ($A16)
This stable has a reputation for this variety and I have seen a number of good Chenin wines from these guys. Made from grapes from their Blewitt Springs and California vineyards and it is a little beauty. The glass smells of apples and citrus peel. The peel theme continues onto the flavors with some melons and the acid levels are again high – which is good. The whole comes together with the outcome being a good mouthfeel that makes you hungry for more. Bring it on.

2011 Chenin Blanc
Just been bottled and thus not released yet. Lots of passionfruit that jumps all over your nose and mouth. Will be a beauty once it has settled down after bottling, so one to look out for.

2008 Tintookie Chenin Blanc ($A30)
The Blewitt Springs Chenin vineyard is called Tintookie – Dowie Doole has been making good to great wines from this vineyard and in a climate of pulling out vines they are planting more Chenin here. What is also different is the wine is barrel fermented and it shows very quickly. The green apple aromas are complemented with the nuttiness of some French oak. Once you drink it you get lemons, but there is more to it. There is a creamy mouthfeel that is complemented by lengthy acid.

2009 Merlot ($A22)
Good fruit and smart oak has provided another good wine. Yes, I am suggesting a Merlot is a good wine. Plums with a hint of dustiness and a very interesting cloak finish to the aroma profile. The usual plums and cherries are here combined with some good dusty oak tannins. Again a surprise – minty flavors here as well.

2010 G & T (Garnacha & Tempranilo) ($A25)
55% Grenache and 45% Tempranillo to produce a Spanish theme. Only 6 months in oak has provided a really drinkable red under so many conditions. The red fruits almost smell sweet and combined with the subtle oak provides a vibrant lift out of the glass. Every mouthful asks you back for more with spicy red fruits with oak that does not dominate. An unusual blend that will not disappoint.

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ($A25)
This was the surprise for me – I am not normally a Cabernet drinker but I could drink a heap of this. The aromas of blackcurrent and mint just fly out of the glass so much so, you don’t even have to do the “wanky thing” to get the aromas. I get cassis and chocolate with a minty finish. As I am finding with McLaren Vale Cabernet the usual donut effect where the flavors disappear in the mid palate, does not happen here. Good old McLaren Vale is having it’s effect and so the mid palate is there is spades.

2009 Shiraz ($A25)
Classical McLaren Vale plums and spice on the nose that makes one think of dark fruit cake. The classical McLaren Vale Shiraz comes through when you drink it as well – black cherries wrapped up with vanillin oak and a chocolate finish.

2008 Reserve Shiraz ($A60)
Things step up a notch here, the fruit and spice have so many extra dimensions. The aromas are so lifted with cherry and plum and the spice character gives you a sense of cinnamon and anise and classy envelope of vanilla. In the mouth the vanilla continues with a depth of plum and subtle spices of cinnamon and white pepper. An example of how good American oak can be with good Shiraz – it is a pity that generally we are moving away from American oak when it can produce such good wine.

N/V Moxie ($A25)
A sparkling red made from Shiraz, Malbec and Touriga with a distinct female play. The packaging has a sexy and fun feel with a take off of what could be seen as James Bond girl silhouettes. The grapes come mainly from Langhorne Creek to produce a mixture of fairy floss mixed with cherries and a few raspberries. There is juicy fruits and a fair hit of sugar here with the saving grace being the good acid hit that cleans up the palate. For me a bit sweet but I can see a lot of people loving it. The wine has a cult following in Germany and only a small proportion is kept in McLaren Vale for direct sales.

2010 Cane Cut Viognier ($A25 375 ml bottle)
As the name suggests the sweetness comes from cutting the canes on the vine to allow the fruit to dry and concentrate while still on the vine. There is no boytris infection here, but the juice still made over 17 Beaume. As expected for Viognier there is lots of apricots on both the nose and palate. What I found really good was the high level of acid that cleaned the mouth and tongue that allowed you to come back for more

About Lonely Grape

Passionate about wine - particularly McLaren Vale wines. Check out my blog on different winery reviews and my wine sales web site
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