Dan's Blog


Friday, August 31, 2018

This week I am talking about DURIF, which has been one of my favourite varieties since I first tasted the Morris of Rutherglen Durif back in the late 1980s. I had just joined the wine industry as the Administration Manager at Orlando’s Sydney office and on one Friday afternoon the State Manager cracked open a bottle of early 1980s Morris Durif. Well, I was besotted!! A while later, just before I moved to Adelaide, we had a visit from Mick Morris and I got to taste an aged Durif from the mid-1970s – Wow! That was the real start of a lifelong, passionate love affair with DURIF.

Since then I have tasted some sensational DURIF wines from around Australia – not only from the “Mecca” Rutherglen, such as the awesome WARRABILLA PAROLA’S RESERVE, but also from Griffith – 3 BRIDGES and DE BORTOLI; the Riverland – 919 WINES, Heathcote – DOMAINE AZMARA, as well as from the Barossa – KALLESKE and ATZE’S CORNER. I have even tasted the alluring GRANMONTE DURIF from Thailand.

Alas, there are a few people who today are making “new style” DURIF, which are lighter and lower in alcohol AND unfortunately they are also lower in the flavour intensity and richness, which is why one drinks DURIF in the first place. If I wanted to consume less alcohol, I would just drink .349872631 of a glass less and still enjoy the divine, luscious, rich flavours of DURIF.

A wine that is definitely not one of those “new style” wimps is the KALLESKE 2017 CCLXV BAROSSA DURIF: At 16.0% alcohol, this wine has had the “full’ treatment – biodynamic grapes, wild ferment, skins submerged for 365 days (hence the name CCCLXV). NO oak maturation and then bottled straight after pressing without fining or filtering – How natural is that huh?  All that is missing is the use of qvervi to make it as natural as the Georgian wines!!

Wow! This is a big, powerful, dark-inky coloured wine which is rich, ubber intense with beguiling stewed fruit aromas with traces of herbs and a good dollop of Christmas pudding. It has massive palate swamping flavours and strong, tight tannins on the finish. Awesome now, especially with food, but give it a few years and it will literally “blow your socks off!”

I thought that the KALLESKE 2016 BUCKBOARD DURIF was fantastic but this wine is even better. As they say in the classics: “Ah Troy, you have done it again!”

For me it is right up there with the WARRABILLA PAROLA’S RESERVE and any aged MORRIS DURIF (must be at least 10-years-old) as the best in the whole flipping world. Frenchman, Doctor Durif, would be blown away with what his variety achieves when Aussie winemakers have a go with it.

But, hey! Don’t take my word for it. If you like BIG wines go out and try one of the wines mentioned here, and let me know if you agree or disagree with me. Cheers!