Halliday Wine Companion - Latest reviews - DOWIE DOOLE Wines

DOWIE DOOLE has once again been recognised as a 5-star Winery in the 2018 Halliday Wine Companion. Here are just some of our Shining Stars in the eyes of Mr Halliday. Our Reserve Shiraz has received an "Exceptional" 97 points, awarded a "Special Value" rating and listed in Halliday's BEST of the BEST Shiraz!

2014 DOWIE DOOLE Reserve Shiraz

97 points - "Exceptional" & awarded "Special Value" rating

Listed in James Halliday's "BEST of the BEST Shiraz"

“From a block replanted in '74; the vinification is essentially the same as for Cali Road, with one major exception: the oak used is French. An object exercise in the benefits that French oak of identical age can invest a wine with precision and brilliance, an edgy character that simply illuminates the fruit, and leaves the mouth thirsting for more. Grace and power.” James Halliday

BUY NOW - $95 

2013 The Fruit of the Vine - The Banker Cabernet Sauvignon

96 points - "Outstanding" & awarded "Special Value" rating

“Excellent colour, still young and vibrant; varietal and regional expressions are evenly matched, both contributing to the density and fabric of a richly plumed cabernet, its heart of cassis wrapped in a veneer of high-quality Swiss (or Belgian) dark chocolate, ripe tannins and supportive, integrated oak. 14.5% alc.” James Halliday


2012 The Fruit of the Vine - The Sculptor Cabernet Sauvignon

96 points - "Outstanding"

“A special batch of 50 dozen made from the estate Tintookie vineyard in Blewitt Springs, the coolest part of McLaren Vale. Make no mistake, this is a high quality cabernet that ticks every box. The colour is still a deep crimson-purple, with no hint of change, the bouquet and palate flush with blackcurrant fruit, the tannins fine but persistent (as they should be), the finish long, the future as far distant as you wish it to be.” James Halliday


2014 DOWIE DOOLE Cali Road Shiraz

95 points - "Outstanding"

“From an east-facing slope planted '00, destemmed and crushed, 13 days on skins, basket-pressed direct to used American hogsheads (50% new) for 2 years maturation. An exceptionally powerful and intense wine, yet no more than full-bodied; dark berries, dark chocolate, mocha and savoury tannins make up a tag team of boundless energy - 20 years won't tire them.”  James Halliday

BUY NOW - $50

2013 DOWIE DOOLE Mr G's C.S.M.

95 points - "Outstanding" & awarded "Special Value" rating

“A 40/27/22/11% blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, merlot and mourvedre, separately fermented, each parcel with a 48-hour post-ferment maceration, matured in used oak for 2 years. A more elegant take on McLaren Vale red blends than usual, and works very well indeed, the fragrant bouquet signalling the fresh and lively array of red fruits on the palate suggesting only one thing: have another glass. The blend might have been one of those matters of convenience (getting rid of odd parcels without any other use), but in fact works very synergistically.” James Halliday

SOLD OUT! - 2014 Vintage Available from $31.49

DOWIE DOOLE Estate Chenin Blanc 2016

94 points - "Outstanding" & awarded "Special Value" rating

"Start with 83yo vines from Blewitt Springs, hand pick at low baume and high natural acidity, cool ferment in stainless steel for 2 - 3 weeks and you end up with a wine of startling freshness, acidity and vibrant citrus and apple flavours. DOWIE DOOLE gives the wine a 20-plus-year cellaring future, and I'll run with that. This is a terrific wine at a bargain basement price."  James Halliday

BUY NOW - from $17.99

DOWIE DOOLE Estate Shiraz 2015

94 points - "Outstanding" & awarded "Special Value" rating

“From three vineyards, each vinified separately until final barrel selection and blending, matured in 50/50% American and French hogsheads (25% new). Has excellent balance, texture and velvety mouthfeel to its luscious black fruits, discretely supported by savoury notes ex tannins and oak. Good wine at a good price.” James Halliday

SOLD OUT! - 2016 Vintage Available from $22.49

DOWIE DOOLE Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

94 points - "Outstanding" & awarded "Special Value" rating

“A no-frills, yet nigh-on perfect example of McLaren Vale cabernet, which gives equal time to the expression of place and of variety in a generous medium-bodied frame. Blackcurrant, dark chocolate, black olive, a splash of oak and supple tannins all contribute.” James Halliday

SOLD OUT! - 2015 Vintage Available from $22.49

DOWIE DOOLE C.T. Shiraz 2014

94 points - "Outstanding"

“From blocks in Blewitt Springs and Tatachilla, open fermented separately for 10 days, pressed direct to used French (70%) and American (30%) barrels for 24 months maturation. Good depth and hue; a rich yet supple and smooth shiraz that stays well within the line in the sand for alcohol issues; the flavours of purple (plum) and black (blackberry) fruits sit well together, and the overall balance of fruit and oak is impeccable. A prosperous future awaits.”  James Halliday

SOLD OUT! - 2015 Vintage Available from $31.49

DOWIE DOOLE Estate Sauvignon Blanc

91 points - "Highly Recommended"

“Estate-grown on Norm and Jane Doole's Range Vineyard. Aromas of cut grass, dried herb and citrus zest expand dramatically on the palate, with citrus and tropical fruit accelerating through to the finish and aftertaste. No winemaking tricks needed with a wine such as this.” James Halliday

SOLD OUT! - 2016 Vintage Available from $17.99


91 points - "Highly Recommended"

“BFG stands for Big Friendly Grenache, sourced from a single 53yo block of bushvines, open-fermented with 10 days on skins, pressed to used French oak to mature for 7 months. The light, clear colour is deceptive; the wine springs into action after a fresh, floral red berry bouquet with intensity and drive on the palate, albeit with briary/earthy/spicy flavours wound around the varietal fruits.” James Halliday

SOLD OUT! - 2016 Vintage Available from $26.99

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August 03, 2017 Add a comment

DOWIE DOOLE's Shining Stars - Halliday Wine Companion 2017

DOWIE DOOLE Reserve Shiraz 2013

95 points - GOLD "Outstanding"

"A worthy follow up to the excellent 2012. The aromas are classic McLaren Vale shiraz plum, hint of spice wrapped in classy French oak. The palate is a delicious melange of fruit, tannin and spice laden oak; long and well framed." James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

BUY NOW - from $72 


DOWIE DOOLE Estate Shiraz 2014

94 points - "Outstanding" & awarded "Special Value" rating

"Dark red; a purely fruited and aromatic bouquet, has plum and dark fruits wrapped neatly with well handled oak; fine, rounded and well balanced, it admirably handles its concentrated fruit, and finishes long and fine." James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

BUY NOW - from $22.49


THE FRUIT OF THE VINE - The Architect Shiraz 2013

94 points - "Outstanding"

"From the Blewitt Springs district, it is a distinctly individual expression. Spice, earth, dried herbs and hint of eucalypt lead to a fine and silky palate that builds into a lithe and lengthy savoury finish." James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017



THE FRUIT OF THE VINE - The Teacher Shiraz 2013

94 points - "Outstanding"

"Two contrasting expressions of McLaren Vale shiraz. This release couldn't be any further in flavour and size than The Archiect from Blewitt Springs. Dark-fruited, saturated and powerful, it is more classic McLaren Vale, The Architect lean, savoury and lithe." James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017



DOWIE DOOLE Tintookie Chenin Blanc 2012

92 points

"Mid-straw; a single vineyard chenin blanc from the cooler Blewitt Springs district; it has received additional bottle age prior to release, and was given the full treatment in the cellar, barrel fermentation and partial mlf. Complex and spiced lemon curd lead to a textural palate that retains a mineral drive." James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

BUY NOW - from $36.00


DOWIE DOOLE Blanc2 2015

(Sauvignon Blanc / Chenin Blanc)

92 Points

"A co-fermented blend of 53% sauvignon blanc and 47% chenin blanc, fermented and aged on lees in used French oak. It is a good effort, pure and punchy on the bouquet, the palate restrained, but vibrant and long." James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

BUY NOW - from $26.99



(Grenache / Tempranillo)

92 points & awarded "Special Value" rating

"Mid-deep red; a brightly scented and fragrant bouquet, florals and Turkish delight lead to a firm and well proportioned palate that is full-flavoured with a savoury finish." James Halliday, Wine Companion 2017

BUY NOW - from $22.49


"Special Value" indicates a wine that offers exceptional value for money - as rated by Halliday Wine Companion 2017

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August 29, 2016 Add a comment

DOWIE DOOLE Vineyard - McLaren Vale

Some Insight into the Geology of DOWIE DOOLE'S Estate Vineyard
The Dowie Doole vineyard is an exciting site for those winelovers who have a keen interest in terroir. The vineyard is cut in half by Pedlar Creek and tributaries which has left two separate hills. 

The first hill, including the aptly named 'Rock Paddock' planted to Shiraz, has ancient rock at its core. The vineyard sits on Heatherdale shale a geological formation laid down a mind-boggling 526 million years ago. 

Heatherdale Shale (526 MY): Ancient Rocks
Laid down when the present McLaren Vale region was under a cold deep ocean with primitive life.
Description: Pyritic (contains iron), calcareous shale and siltstone (calcium shells and silts pressed into the ocean floor), containing bivalve arthropods and trilobite fossils.

The vineyard blocks on the second hill, including the 1965 Grenache, are on the famous North Maslin Sands geology. While this geological formation was laid down more recently than the Heatherdale shale, it dates back 56 million years. North Maslin Sands geology appears in bands from cliffs of Maslin Beach to Blewitt Springs.

North Maslin Sands (56 MY)
Cross-bedded fluvial sandstone, conglomerate with minor sandy siltstone, unconsolidated. "Lumps of sand" pressed together over time. During times of high rainfall in our region, iron has leached into the the sand lumps and cemented them together to make "ironstone".

These hills have subtle differences which help contribute to first the grapes and then the resultant wine. On both of Dowie Doole's hills, grapevine roots are able to work their way into cracks in the rock and pick up nutrients and water. The rate and abundance of nutrients and water influences the way the grapevines naturally grow, their fruit and our wines.

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August 26, 2016 Add a comment

Wine on Tap - The future of wine?

You may have noticed that there is a new trend in bars, restaurants and pubs... perhaps you have partaken in this growing trend... or perhaps, even turned your nose up at it... I am referring to the growing reputation of ‘Wine on Tap’ or ‘Keg Wine’.

Encouraged by a more relaxed wine culture, an overall move towards ‘drink now’ wine styles and perhaps the growing popularity of craft beer, ‘Wine on Tap’ is gaining acceptance all over the world. Similar to the introduction of screw caps to better ensure the integrity of wines, keg wines are being more widely adopted by venues and their patrons because of their ability to preserve quality. There are real benefits and savings to be made for the winery, venue and the consumer.

There is a certain romanticism and centuries-old tradition associated with bottled wine. It is the favoured wine vessel the world over, but traditional wine packaging does have its draw backs:

  • The myriad of different packaging materials (glass bottles, corks, capsules, labels) and processes used to deliver the final product are costly and impact on the environment
  • In the case of wines bottled under cork, there is the risk of cork taint
  • For wines available by the glass in restaurants and bars, there is the possibility of oxidation and wastage of opened bottles of wine

Whilst consumers won’t be abandoning bottled wine any time soon, ‘Wine on Tap’ is gaining a following as a better way to enjoy wines by the glass in hospitality venues.


DOWIE DOOLE is one of the Australian Wineries pioneering the market for Keg Wines. One of the common misconceptions is that keg wine is a substitute for cask or bulk wine. On the contrary... DOWIE DOOLE’S Chief Winemaker Chris Thomas believes that keg wines will gain growing acceptance as a sustainable method of dispensing premium wines in venues Australia wide:

Our range of premium keg wines are a more economical, more sustainable solution to wine by the glass without compromising on quality– Chris Thomas

There are currently four DOWIE DOOLE keg wines available to hospitality venues:

DOWIE DOOLE White Wines by the Keg

Sauvignon Blanc

Chenin Blanc

DOWIE DOOLE Red Wines by the Keg

Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz / Merlot


DOWIE DOOLE wine kegs are being enjoyed at innovative establishments that embrace the ‘Wine on Tap’ philosophy of offering the best tasting wines pour after pour.

Check out these incredible venues in Brisbane that currently feature DOWIE DOOLE wines on tap:

The Charming Squire

Pig n Whistle – Riverside 

Pig n Whistle – Brunswick Street 

Pig n Whistle – West End 

The following venues will be showcasing DOWIE DOOLE keg wines in the coming months:

Jimmy’s on the Mall

Pig n Whistle – Indooroopilly 

Modern wine drinkers are breaking with tradition and embracing the ‘Wine on Tap’ phenomenon... and for good reason. 

The Truth about Wine Kegs:

  • Keg wines are best suited to ‘drink now’ wine styles that can be enjoyed by the glass or decanter without compromising on quality
  • There are enormous economic and environmental advantages without sacrificing quality
  • Environmentally friendly! The use of kegs reduces the need for lots of different packaging materials and kegs are reusable and fully recyclable - drastically reducing the carbon footprint of keg wine when compared to bottled wine
  • Wine is stored in specially designed kegs to eliminate exposure to oxygen and light so that consistent quality of the wine can be maintained and to prevent wastage, oxidation and spoilage
  • Wine on tap offers fast and efficient service in bustling bars and restaurants
  • Keg wines are the most cost effective option for the winery to produce, the venue to serve and the drinker to enjoy
  • Keg wine is NOT bulk wine. Wines on tap have been selected for their quality, drinkability and popularity

So the next time you see DOWIE DOOLE Wine on Tap... Give it a try! We promise you won’t be disappointed!

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August 10, 2016 Add a comment

DOWIE DOOLE Tasting Room Re-location - Closing Sunday 5th June 2016

It is with great excitement and a tinge of sadness that we will be re-locating the Dowie Doole Tasting Room from it’s current location to an existing dwelling at our new vineyard. The tasting room will be closed for a few months whilst we transform a house on the vineyard into our new Home in McLaren Vale. The new Tasting Room will open in the latter half of 2016 and will offer a stunning outlook over our prized new vineyard.

Last Chance until we re-open!

This weekend is your last opportunity to visit our tasting room at its current location. Guests can taste informally with our knowledgeable tasting room staff.

Group Bookings

We take groups of up to 8 people and bookings are essential. There is a $5 deposit per person which is refundable upon purchase. Booking can be made by phone: (08) 7325 6280 or email:

Dowie Doole Tasting Room – CLOSING Sunday 5th June

Friday 3rd June: 11am – 5pm

Saturday 4th June: 11am – 5pm

Sunday 5th June: 11am – 5pm

276 California Road, McLaren Vale 

NEW Dowie Doole Tasting Room - OPENING Late 2016

(Official Opening Date - To be confirmed)

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June 02, 2016 Add a comment

Dowie Doole expands with major vineyard acquisition

2016 has been a landmark year in the story of Dowie Doole (Est 1995). We were recognised as a 5 star winery and one of the ‘ten dark horses’ to watch in James Halliday’s Wine Companion, 2016 edition.

It seems Mr. Halliday’s prediction is coming to fruition. In the latest and most exciting chapter, Dowie Doole has been successful in its bid to purchase a new vineyard – the Conte Tatachilla vineyard located on Bayliss and California Roads, McLarenVale (between the main arterial roads of the region - Main South & Victor Harbor Roads). The Estate was established and skillfully managed by the Conte family for over 55 years.

The 53 hectare property is an undulating and picturesque landscape with approximately 35 hectares planted to premium, classic McLaren Vale varietals including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and over 50 year old bush vine Grenache. The remainder of the plantings are alternative European varietals which were grafted onto existing rootstock in 2012 - Vermentino, Aglianico and Lagrein.

McLarenVale’s growing reputation for producing vibrant and expressive Grenache makes the acquisition an extraordinary opportunity and a very exciting prospect for Chief Winemaker and Managing Director Chris Thomas.

“The vineyard has a diverse mixture of varieties. There will be some new additions to the Dowie Doole portfolio and I am particularly excited about the well established Grenache vines which were planted in 1965. Vintage 2017 can’t come soon enough!” said Chris.

Dowie Doole was founded in 1995 by renowned McLaren Vale grape growers and champions of sustainable viticulture Drew Dowie and Norm Doole. The pair were joined by Leigh Gilligan who became a partner in 1998 and the trio established a reputation for producing classic regional wines from McLaren Vale. In 2015, a number of like-minded investors came on-board including current Chief Winemaker and Managing Director – Chris Thomas. With Dowie Doole ready to expand their position within the McLaren Vale region, Dowie Doole co-founder Norm Doole welcomes the vineyard acquisition:

“Our philosophy has always been to use only the finest parcels of fruit from select vineyards and this latest acquisition will add breadth and depth to the Dowie Doole range” – Norm Doole 

The Dowie Doole tasting room will be relocating from it’s current location to an existing structure at the new vineyard in the coming months. We plan to leverage the wine tourism potential of the property by developing a new tasting room and event venue in the years to come. With such a stunning outlook over the vineyards, the possibilities are endless.

Watch this space!

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May 02, 2016 3 comments