This Black Dog is a classically styled Shiraz whose name hails from our second ever vintage in 2001 when cellarhands noted that the wine from our most spectacular hilltop block of estate shiraz was “as black as dog's guts”. The nickname caught on amongst family and friends, so today, provided vintage conditions deliver us a shiraz of suitable depth and concentration to do the name justice, a new Black Dog is born. This release was fermented in small open topped stainless-fermenters, hand-plunged and then pressed off skins once sugar dry and only when the desired balance of fruit, body and tannin had been achieved - 14 days this year. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation and subsequent maturation for 18 months in Burgundy coopered French oak barriques, one third of which were new.
Only 260 dozen were made.
- WA - Other Western Australian
- Western Australia
Bright purple-crimson; low yield shiraz is open-fermented, hand-plunged and matured in French oak barriques for 18 months, one-third new. The bouquet positively sings of red and black fruits, with some floral overtones, while the medium-bodied palate provides an interplay between juicy, freshly squeezed, red and black fruits, spice, cedar and fine-grained tannins. A seriously lovely wine. Rating 96 - Drink by 2030 - James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion
I’m not sure when winemaker Simon Burnell arrived at Willow Bridge but judging by the oak handling in this wine, I suspect that he’d arrived by the time of the 2010 vintage. There’s some saucy, sophisticated oak here but, importantly and for a change, it’s been appropriately dished out.
You could call this straight-laced but you could also call it the complete Australian red wine. It’s spicy but not too much so, cherried and plummy and ripe without being jammy or too-sweet. Cedary, gently toasty, nutty oak is laced through the fruit, rather than over the top. Given air, floral notes come to the fore. And at all times a ripple of tannin keeps the wine tidy, controlled, immaculate. There’s something slightly Italianate about this wine; hard to put my finger on it but the word kept popping into my mind. It’s still fresh and young and needs time, but the quality is clearly there. Rating 94 - Drink 2017 -2025+, Campbell Mattinson (APR/2013)
Winery Tasting Notes
Mid to deep, bright purple / crimson.
Dark fruits and dark chocolate are the dominant characters. Some herbs and spices - sage and nutmeg? Cacao, dark olive and some florals appear as it breathes.
Only medium weight, but those rich, dark fruit and chocolate characters from the nose come through with plenty of power. Ample, but very fine grained, almost graphite-like tannins weave through the fruit to give the palate
plenty of structure to hang onto for years to come.
It's delicious now (May 2013), but will definitely reward time in the cellar. Halliday says to 2030, Mattinson
to 2025+, so sometime around then sounds good to us.