2007 De Bortoli Vat 1 Durif

NSW, Riverina 14% Screwcap $9.50- Tasted 16/7/09

Whacked into a decanter for an hour and this is what came out-

Rich Durif density of fruit with burnt sugar and iodine. And it is rich in the mouth but the tannins hold the fruit and sweetness in place admirably. I had this by itself and with a piece of rare scotch fillet. The wine and its tannins worked better with the steak, although I didn’t mind the structure straight up either.

Tastes of a slightly refined xmas cake with plums, black cherries, blackcurrants and a touch of vanilla. The burnt sugar was strong in this one. Perhaps a bit much so, but I’ll come back to that. It was certainly meaty and the tannins were like 4 by 4 wooden planks, and appropriate for the wine. It seems massive on the nose but ends up being not as sweet and big as first thought on the palate. There is even a touch of black pepper (or that could have been the seasoning on the steak, not sure) and some sweet cinnamon chiming in with the burnt sugar.

At times it reminded me of Blackforest cake. There were ribena type flavours and even some raspberry coulis wafting over the whole thing. Heaps of personality and complexity for under $10.

So where did it go wrong for me? That burnt sugar aftertaste. It was long and became a bit much. I offered my girlfriend a glass and she got no further than her first sip. She loved it upon tasting it, but the finish just wasn’t pleasant.

Don’t try and do a bottle by yourself and drink it with meat are my suggestions. I reckon it shows its best that way. So I’m going for a point range on this one. It depends on your tolerance for certain flavours and how you consume it. I’ve got some left and if anything changes I’ll post an edit.


Edit- 17/6/09 Well wine keeps fascinating and perplexing me in many ways. 11 hours sitting in a decanter in my flat at 16 degrees and this had gotten a whole lot better. Everything integrated nicely, tannins resolved and burnt sugar more enjoyable as it moved to a slightly more gentle caramel. It would still have to be your sort of thing and it still needs food, but hey, it’s a Durif!

revised score 88-89

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