2010 “Top Dog” Barossa Valley Shiraz
The Top Dog is a traditional Barossa wine, and very popular. It is a quintessential big Aussie Shiraz with good prominent oak. The oak itself is seasoned, for three years, given a medium toast and is a combination of American and French wood. This creates a slower release of flavour, which marries with the wine rather than overpowering this fruit driven style. This wine came from one of many vineyards that Dan Rowe and I lovingly rebuilt in an effort to save them from bull dozers. Unfortunately, this 100 year old vineyard finally succumbed to “ progress” and is now a suburb. It still hurts me, whenever I consider the awesome standard of this wine, knowing the vineyard is now lost forever. On a brighter note, Dan and I had the foresight to take cuttings from this old clone and planted up similar areas with these sticks. I am happy to report, seven years later, that these vineyards are starting to show the same flavoursome characteristics as their ancestors, so we can continue with this style in the future. This is a cracker red! Plummy, rich, big and beautiful. Hints of pepper and spice from Hungarian oak, with a finishing palate that reminds me of Nana’s Christmas puddings.
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2012 “Watchdog” Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz
I think this is the best wine I make. The beauty of wine, in general, is in its diversity and the fact that we all have different tastes. The Watch Dog suits mine, but it may have something to do with sneaking into our parent’s cellar, with the Lehmann boys, and sitting around drinking 10 year old Barossa Cabernet / Shiraz. It’s a style that suits the Barossa well. Of course, the one third Shiraz component is a factor, but Barossa Cabernet is outstanding, when handled correctly. This wine will always be sold with bottle age and has the complexity of different regions of oak, old and new. This has created a wonderful long palate and the integrity of the vineyards has created fantastic acid balance, which not only feels good in the mouth but ensures the wine will age well. Immediately, this wine smells rich, sweet and complex with a hint of vanilla (from the French Oak). It follows with a palate that does not disappoint the early promise. Smooth, soft tannins, that seem to go forever.
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2010 “Sly Dog” Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Just like a Sly Dog this wine will sneak up and nip at your heels. Barossa Cabernet has the ability to become big & boisterous in flavour which is a reflection of our intense region. Whilst I enjoy Cabernet from other regions this dynamic Barossa style wins me over every time. Similar to the Top Dog this is a wine with a long palate due to the delicate pressing process. Once again, in the true “Diggers” style it is hard to get away from the word “rich”. Mother nature has given this gift of richness so we must allow her to be represented. Like a true team; my home environment and I have struck gold again. It goes well with a Sunday Roast and of course Vegemite Gravy.
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2011 “Stray Dog” Barossa Valley Grenache Mataro Shiraz
“I was dreaming when I wrote this, so forgive me if it goes astray…” We work hard at Diggers, some say I just make it hard, but we are not lazy so I am going to call this Grenache, Mataro, Shiraz not G.M.S. There are a lot of these about, but the beauty of making wine is everyone does it differently and this is that, different. The Grenache vines are original Barossa clone. Hand pruned and dry grown. I planted a good portion of these vines myself off a section of vineyard we called the land of the giants. Grenache thrives in Barossa conditions and because this variety bud bursts early and, ripens late in the season, it has a long ripening period and this creates a very floral fruit flavour. We then take Mataro and Shiraz, another hearty variety, blend to taste and voila, the Stray Dog! The nose on this wine, reminds me of what a good, old, underground cellar should smell like. If you can give this wine time to open, the floral Grenache comes through to the nose. The mouth feel of this wine, is strikingly similar to green banana. The Mataro component, provides a good tannic finish.
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