2016 The Howling Dog
2016 The Howling Dog
Grape Variety: Saperavi
It took us a while to get this one right, when we were first experimenting with Petite Sirah the tannins were so pronounced that tasters actually started howling as it crossed their palate. We later planted other naturally tannic varietals Tannat and Saperavi, softening the tannins so the only howl we hear now is one of enjoyment. Taken from Dadd’s Block on the high side – sandy loam with long sunlight hours and low rainfall. The best of these varieties is selected each year, either on their own or as a blend.
Sub region: South Moppa
Winemaking: Destemmed into open fermenters, left to spontaneously ferment, then pumped over sporadically for 10 days before some parcels see extended post fermentation maceration for up to 6 weeks. Extended skin contact integrates the tannins and produces a wine that is a lot softer and more approachable when young. Gentle basket pressing follows, with each vineyard parcel kept separate in 2nd and 3rd use French oak hogsheads until just prior to blending and bottling.
The Wine: Black as night and laden with an abundance of natural structure and personality, the palate surprises with immense flavour but with all elements in balance. Aromas of beetroot, tilled earth and juniper, the palate has an inky, iodine like deepness with elements of roasted coriander and cumin and a structure that is evident, but intriguingly supple. Built more along the lines of a marathon runner than a sprinter, it is already approachable but will greatly reward those who choose to keep a few bottles well into the future.
Cellaring: Ten years or more.
Dark and brooding but bright and bouncy. Handy combination. Sweet cherries, blackberries, iodine and wood smoke. It's one of those wines where the flavours all feel familiar, though they're arranged in a slightly different way. It works here. In the end it's an easy wine to like, full of fruit and character.
James Halliday 2019 Wine Companion
eefy red of amplitude and generosity, imbued with dark cherry, black currant fruit and a lift of violet florals. It’s heady stuff, done superbly, loose and juicy with anough grunt of graphite tannin to give structure and needed chew. Really enjoyable drinking here.
Mike Bennie, Wine Business Magazine