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Massena Howling Dog 2005
Massena Howling Dog 2005
Category: Red Wine
Region: Australia » South Australia » Barossa Valley
Producer: Massena
Alcohol: 14.5%



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The Durif grape was developed by Dr. Durif, a French nurseryman living in the south of France in the late 1800's. He created this new variety by crossing the Syrah grape with the Peloursin variety. His new variety was resistant to a plant disease called Powdery Mildew. This variety has gained popularity in California as well as Australia where it tends to produce wines with a spicy, plummy flavor and an exceptional tannic backbone.

Wine Enthusiast

This could easily stand alongside the best Petite Sirahs from California. It's perfumed and floral on the nose, then adds palate-staining blueberries and hints of cedar, licorice and chocolate. The silky tannins on the finish are firm enough to suggest cellaring through 2010, and optimum drinking through 2020, possibly longer.

Score: 93. —Joe Czerwinski, October 01, 2007.

Wine Advocate

As longtime readers know, one of California's longest-lived, best value wines is Petite Sirah, which is also known as Durif. Massena's 2005 Durif Howling Dog, cropped at a ridiculously low .7 tons of fruit per acre, and aged 18 months in old French oak, can easily compete with some of the great Petite Sirahs from Ridge or Turley Vineyards. Its inky/blue/purple hue is accompanied by scents of blueberry liqueur, crushed rocks, and acacia flowers. Full-bodied, powerful, and rich, with surprisingly supple, but extravagant levels of tannin, it is not yet ready for prime time drinking. Purchasers should forget it for 4-5 years, then watch it unfold over the next two decades.

Score: 93. —Robert Parker, October 2006.

All sizes are 750mL unless otherwise noted.
Vintages and ratings subject to change at any time.
All pricing and availability subject to change.