Dame Mint Pattie’s Canberra Wineries A2Z – D is for Dionysis

It’s been some time since we visited Dionysus, so I’m going to have to rely on my crap scant notes and even crappier less than perfect memory. The mere suggestion that we should revisit the cellar door (and the thought of having to pay for more wine) had Our Man idly speculating whether the national library would accept wallets as part of their delayed release document program.

Which is pretty much bullshit bollocks because Dionysus ticks most of the boxes when it comes to good value local wine. It also ticks the try hard obvious name box* but I came away with a few of their bottles in hand, feeling well disposed towards this pleasant, family-owned winery.

Dionysis vineyard

It was an execrable late winter’s afternoon when we trundled out to Patemans Lane in Murrumbateman and they hadn’t long finished bottling for the year. Owners Michael and Wendy O’Dea were away for the weekend and their daughter Lizzie was on duty at the cellar door. Her enthusiasm for the family business was genuine and something of an antidote to the ‘lazy, self-absorbed Gen Y’ meme that seems to be on high rotation these days.

Lizzie was particularly proud of the May Riesling, made in honour of her grandmother who had planted the first vines about 10 years ago. Unfortunately, it wasn’t available for tasting but if I was looking for a dessert wine, I’d be tempted to buy it for the backstory alone.

As mentioned, the wines were reasonably priced, ranging from a very affordable $10 for the 2008 chardonnay (a little restrained and not too much oak) to $25 for an 08 pinot noir (delicate savoury notes with a bit of grip). Some of the wines available for tasting were from the new vintage and were still a little tight in the glass but there were no seriously bum notes that I can recall.

We brought home a very smooth 08 Merlot ($22) – all silk, with hints of violets on the nose**. It was very drinkable but hard to pin down with a food match. We flipped a coin and tried it with lasagne but this made the fruit taste a little stewed and in the end we decided it stood up best on its own – all the better to bring out the violets.

We also tried a peppery 06 Shiraz ($22) that worked a treat with steak. Did I mention it was peppery? Think white pepper on the nose, a crack of black pepper on the palate and restrained tannins for structure. There were also some enjoyable juicy fruit notes (red berries?) present. I don’t remember much else, other than there was nothing left in the bottle to double check the next day. I also suspect that this style of shiraz could be a love or loathe proposition for some folk and thus the perfect BBQ wine.

Dionysis wine

There’s still a bottle of 09 Maenads Rosé ($18) on the shelf at home – waiting for the right dish, perfect weather and a moment of weakness on OMIC’s part***. Made with shiraz, it’s a delicate pink colour and smells of Turkish delight, rose water and macerated strawberries. It’s a delightful balance between sweet and savoury –– a very pleasant wine with or without food.

For those interested in other things than wine, Dionysus Winery also sells a selection of locally made foodsuffs – nuts, oils, bush herbs etc – as well as a range of wine accessories. Wish I could tell you more but that’s where the notes (and my memory) fade.

* A bit like calling a boatyard Poseidon’s or a courier service Mercury.
** It’s quite possible I just imagined this. I was working pretty hard at willing spring to arrive.
*** Pattie loves rosé. She loved it when it wasn’t kewl and will still love it when (once again) it slips off the wine radar. OMIC finds rosé less than inspiring and believes it exists chiefly so Max Allen has a regular, easy get column every summer (cf. sparkling shiraz, Italian wine, Spanish wine, topics wine writers routinely flog).

Dionysus Winery
1 Patemans Lane, Murrumbateman, NSW, 2582
www.dionysus-winery.com.au
10 am to 5 pm weekends and public holidays
(02) 6227 0208
www.dionysus-winery.com.au


These posts are cross posted from Our Notional Capital, where Dame Pattie blogs with her partner, our man in Canberra. The progressive list of Canberra and region wineries is here.

6 comments ↓

#1 The Devil Drink on 26.11.09 at 9:49 am

It’s a good name. You can’t be too obvious when it comes to paying tribute.

#2 Zoe on 26.11.09 at 8:32 pm

This seems to be the appropriate thread to announce that the bottle of Grange Owy was promised for slammin’ the Dangar Island Home Brew competition out of the park has arrived – a 1997. Thanks, Tim!

#3 Dame Mint Pattie on 26.11.09 at 9:01 pm

Congrats to Owy. Make sure you have something with it other than red cabbage.

#4 Zoe on 27.11.09 at 8:46 am

Will do ;) I think it deserves a giant piece of beef on the bone, but we’ve stashed it in a (trustworthy!) friend’s cellar until such time as both kids are old enough to have a sleepover at the grandparents.

#5 Dr Sister Outlaw on 29.11.09 at 10:12 pm

nom nom nom … you are opening my eyes to the wineries around Canberra. It simply would not have occurred to me that good grapes grew in those blonde hills

#6 Ulrich on 20.09.14 at 2:16 pm

I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that too few folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my search for something concerning this.

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