March 12, 2020

Dowie Doole – the Moxie from McLaren Vale

Image: Winemaker Chris Thomas of Dowie Doole circa 2011 (photo by thewinemuse)

While I am always keen to try new regions of the world, there is always a sense of discovery when I get to taste the latest from the McLaren Vale in Australia’s south. Therefore, I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to catch up recently with Chris Thomas to taste Dowie Doole’s current vintages and to discover what is new.

It could certainly be said that McLaren Vale always comes to mind as a region that is working hard to keep their offering fresh.  There is plenty of interest to be found here because they are an established region with access to old vineyards and they already have plenty of experience with the classics. However, the winemakers of the region come with an established reputation for being an innovative bunch and a reputation of not being afraid of working together.

Particularly when it comes to exploring some of the more uncommon grape varieties…

Dowie Doole G&T

One of the more recent varieties to be grown in Australia is Tempranillo. Dowie Doole G&T is Dowie Doole’s more-ish take on a fresh and fruity style of Rioja. While the ‘G’ is no stranger to McLaren Vale, the ‘T’ is a relative newcomer. The ‘G’ is Grenache (or Garnacha in it Spanish guise) and of course, the ‘T’ is its Spanish companion, Tempranillo.

However, it is two of their white wines that I find the most exciting. The Dowie Doole Vermentino and the Dowie Doole Tintookie Chenin Blanc.  

I consider the Dowie Doole chenin blanc one of Australia’s benchmarks for this grape. It is up there with Temple Bruer’s. And interestingly, Voyager Estate have just released a sparkling version which is easy to love. Another is their Vermentino which is certainly good drinking and is one to watch as the team get into their stride with this Italian grape.

Dowie Doole’s Chenin Blanc is grown on old vines more than 80 years old and planted in 1933. The Tintookie Vineyard has some of Australia’s oldest Chenin Blanc vines. It is not unexpected then that there is several wines in Dowie Doole’s collection. Each a different expression of the grape. Amongst their Chenins there is a fresh and zesty C Blanc Chenin Blanc, a museum release that has been pre-cellared for you and a special aged bottling under the Tintookie vineyard range.

Five to try ……

Dowie Doole Tintookie Chenin Blanc 2012

Using the best Chenin Blanc grapes from the 1933 vines of Tintookie vineyard in McLaren Vale, this aged dry white is not hard to love. This portion of fruit has been vinified to bring out the more savoury side of the grape. It has been barrel fermented in older French oak and left on lees for six months.

This time in oak have given it a spicy cinnamon edge to the crisp pear and citrus fruit. Some age in the bottle has embellished it with a honeyed waxy tone. It is really still hitting its stride and will go gracefully into maturity yet. This makes it good now, even better with age. (AU$40 | £24)

Dowie Doole Rosé

So, not only do Dowie Doole do a Vermentino white, they have also recently introduced a Grenache Vermentino rosé. The blend is following the style of those Provençal pinks. It is dry, silkily textured with ripe stonefruit and melon deliciousness.

This is a great wine for enjoying with food or just enjoying with friends. Why not try it with grilled scallops with a garlic and cream sauce or a warm chicken salad. Just chill it down and enjoy it whatever the weather.  (AU$24 |£17) click here for the full review

Dowie Doole G&T

The Dowie Doole G&T is a one of those fun Australian takes on a Spanish classic blend. In the glass, there is a waft of fresh raspberry and cherry fruit along with a more earthy cinnamon. The G&T has elegant proportions with a fleshy, silky mouthfeel and succulent tannins.

There is plenty going on in this wine. It can be savoured with food, of course. However, it is just as good sitting around the backyard with friends. (AU$25 | UK £20) click here for the full review

Dowie Doole BFG

Dowie Doole BFG Grenache 2018

Another bold one, this time a ‘Big Friendly Grenache’ from some of McLaren Vales old vines. These old vines have given generously. The ripe liquorice, plum fruit has a raspberry lightness, and some well used oak adds some spicy embellishment. The BFG is full bodied with some supple tannins to support that fresh fruit. This bold red lives up to its name and as such, it is hard to put down. (AU$30 ) click here for the full review

Dowie Doole Moxie NV Sparkling Shiraz

One for lovers of sparkling reds with soft fruit wrapped in velvet.  The colour is ripe, black plum purple and the aromas of cinnamon, blackfruit, toffee and caramel rise from the glass. It is however the wash of sweet fruit that defines this style of wine and the Moxie is sweet, juicy and succulent. If anything, it might be a little too sweet for me to enjoy more than a glass or two but I can certainly see the attraction of bold vivacity and curvaceous profile.  I can safely say that it lives up to its name. (AU$35 | £21)

For more visit

Note: this was first published July 2013 and has been updated March 2020


Looking for a something specific, please use search:

You May Also Like…

Jane Eyre Wines Chenas

Jane Eyre Wines Chenas

Jane Eyre is one of the Australian winemakers who makes a range of wines that cross international borders. She now makes wines in Burgundy after vintages making wine at Cullen in Margaret River, Felton Road, Central Otago and Ata Rangi in Martinborough. This Jane Eyre...

Winery Spotlight: Getting to know Rathfinny Wine Estate

Winery Spotlight: Getting to know Rathfinny Wine Estate

I had no idea what to expect when I visited Rathfinny Wine Estate by chance last Summer. It was a spur of the moment idea. The vineyard I had initially decided to visit had no time slots left and did not accept visitors without bookings. Fair enough. It was a smaller...

Zero Dosage Champagnes: Are they better? Why choose them?

Zero Dosage Champagnes: Are they better? Why choose them?

If you are a lover of Champagne, then you will have noticed the range of  zero dosage and extra brut styles of bubbles is growing. Slowly, but steadily. What are they? Can you tell the difference? And we are talking zero added sugar, NOT zero...


  1. JasonM

    Nice coverage of their portfolio. The Chenin Blanc is a sensational wine for the price, and alarmingly drinkable at about 3:30 in the afternoon. I look forward to the 2013.

  2. admin

    It is one of those wines that goes down any time of the day!! Thanks for taking the time to comment… LJ

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *