“Both Rachael and I first experienced Durif in America, where they call it Petite Sirah and we thought the grape had amazing potential. Fantastic colour, fantastic acid, fantastic tannin and we were really keen when we came back to Australia to plant this grape in our vineyards. Only to discover when we returned, it didn’t exist in Western Australia. With the West Australian Vine Improvement Association’s (WAVIA) help, we managed to bring the variety into the state and get hold of the only available rootling to the industry.”
“My parents joked that this first rootling was like our first child. Every day we went out to tend this one vine to make sure it wasn’t knocked off by any rabbits or anything else. Rather than say I’m off to see the Durif darling we’d just say I’m off to see Dudley. The name stuck, and 8 years later when we released our first Durif table wine we decided to call him Dudley Durif.”
The 2015 Durif was recently awarded Gold medals at the 2016 Rutherglen Wine Show and 2016 Geographe Wine Show.
As a full-bodied dry red, this wine will handle heavy meat dishes very well and its really begging for a rich, full bodied juicy steak.
With such a full bodied dry red long term cellaring is definitely the way to go – upwards of 10 years.
After maceration and fermentation we put the Durif into oak for a period of 18 months primarily to soften and mature the wine. We daren’t put it anywhere near new oak. The grape variety has enough tannin by itself and we don’t want to add to that or go into excess by adding oak tannins to that formula. In the winery the first thing that really strikes you about Durif is the colour. From the moment you crush these grapes it just bleeds black colour, it looks like vegemite and it stains your hands black and it stains all the equipment black – its just amazing.
We do everything we can to control the extraction of tannins in this wine to make sure its not an overbearing monster. And we don’t have much success. Its just the way Durif loves to be, so we run with it. And we try to make a big, bold, dry red from this grape.