Massena The Howling Dog 2015

$3399
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The Wine Front – The Howling Dog label is about “celebrating varieties that have density and power”. This is so fresh it almost seems raw. It has that tank sample freshness to it; that purple crack of bare fruit flavour. Berries, foresty and spiced. A little chocolate. A lot of floral elements. And mouthwatering acidity. There’s tannin here, slightly twiggy but carried by fruit. It has drinkability writ large.

About This Wine

Early experimental batches of Petite Sirah produced wines that were rich and deep, but had pronounced tannins that caused tasters to release a slight howl as it crossed the palate. We later planted other naturally tannic varietals Tannat and Saperavi and with lessons learnt, the only howl we hear now is one of enjoyment! Destemmed into open fermenters, left to spontaneously ferment, then pumped over sporadically for 10 days before some parcels saw extended post fermentation maceration for up to 6 weeks. Extended skin contact integrates the tannins and produces a wine that is a lot softer and more approachable when young. Gentle basket pressing followed, with each vineyard parcel being kept separate in 2nd and 3rd use French oak hogsheads.

Type Red Wine
Varietal(s) Saperavi Petite Syrah Tannat
Country Australia
Region Barossa Valley
Brand Massena
Vintage 2015

Barossa Valley Wine

The Barossa Valley wine region has historically and currently still is one of Australia's most prestigious premium wine producing regions. Located just 60km north east of Adelaide city centre, the climate there is very hot and dry which is perfect for the big bold reds the area is famous for.

A straight Shiraz is what Barossa is most well known for, however Rhone blends, such as Shiraz Cabernet are also very popular. While much less prevalent, white wines (Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon) are planted on the higher altitude hillsides where the ocean breeze cools temperatures down to a level suitable for producing these varieties as well.

Some of Australia's earliest Shiraz plantings can be found here dating as far back as the 1850's. While not always a guarantee of quality, it might be worth seeking out and trying one of the region's "old vine shiraz" if you haven't yet.

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