Regions > South Australia > Adelaide Super Zone > Fleurieu Zone > McLaren Vale Region

: Dennis



Kangarilla Rd, McLaren Vale, 5171

Cellar Door: Mon-Fri (10-5), weekend/pub hols (11-5)

Ph: (08) 8323 8665

Dennis cellar door is on the edge of the McLaren Vale town

Dennis is one of the regional stalwarts and a consistent quality red wine producer. Daringa is the company name behind the Dennis of McLaren Vale label.

Daringa in the local indigenous dialect describes the location of the spring of pure water. The winery still boasts the area’s first well on its lawns.

The winery, located on the edge of the town of McLaren Vale, started as a joint venture between Ken Maxwell and Egerton Dennis and was built in 1971. The Dennis family eventually took over full control after an amicable split while the Maxwells set up their own winery in the region.

The best wine is the Cabernet Sauvigon in the better vintages such as 2006. Curent winemaker, Peter Dennis seeks intensity of fruit character, colour and mintiness while maintaining the depth of varietal expression. The Grenache and Shiraz can also be quite attractively textured wines with well controlled (mainly) American oak support.

The second easy drinking range is Goanna which includes a Shiraz Viognier and a Chardonnay/Viognier.

Like the nearby Maxwells the winery also produces mead fermented from honey.

Dennis Vines
Dennis vines in March
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Peter Dennis Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, ripe blackberry and dark plum with violet and anise notes, good depth, savoury, earthy and medium-full bodied with mid-palate glycerolly plumpness, fine tannins, cedar-coffee from the predominantly American oak (****)

Peter Dennis Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, pre-release tasting with Peter Dennis at the cellar door, yet another confirmation that the 2006 vintage was an outstanding one for McLaren Vale Cabernet, perfumed nose, good Cabernet structure with pristine blackcurrant, blackberry and mint, earthy and medium-full bodied, minerally texture does not compromise fruit expression, lingering fine tannins with cedar-coffee oak (****)

Peter Dennis Grenache 2003

Purchased: Cellar Door ($20)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, meaty, spicy full bodied and intense earthy palate with cassis, prune and dark plum with violet and dried herbs, tarry but with not at all on the confectionary end of Grenache spectrum, long spicy coffee-cedar finish with eucalypt nuances, backbone of dusty tannins (****)

Peter Dennis Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, a good wine but overshadowed by the fruit clarity of the 2006 vintage, ripe blackcurrant, blackberry and mint, earthy and savoury palate with fine tannins, balanced cedar-coffee oak (***1/2)

Peter Dennis Goanna Shiraz Viognier 2004

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting:Mar 2009, the Viognier input is an admirably restrained 4%, smooth blackberry, plum and violet notes with some dried herb notes, medium bodied with silky tannins, not sure why you would use Viognier to soften such approachable Shiraz fruit apart from consumers who are really scared of tannins (***1/2)

Peter Dennis Rose 2006

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, derived from old vine Shiraz fruit, quite dry with residual dark and red fruits, some dried herb and spice complexity with a crisp finish, good length (***)

Peter Dennis Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, seamless and textured cut grass, passionfruit and green apple, flavoursome but not intense, chalky minerality, gentle orange rind acids (***)

Peter Dennis Goanna Chardonnay Viognier 2007

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2009, ripe tropical fruit and white peach with the 15% Viognier bringing spicy canned apricot notes, rather gentle citric acids make a soft finish (**1/2)

Peter Dennis Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, classy and powerful regional style, deep blackcurrant and plum, herbal and spicy palate is quite well focussed and earthy, lingering finish shows plenty of eucalypt, crisp acid, dusty tannins with soft spicy oak (****)

Peter Dennis Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, medium – full bodied blackcurrant and plum with lush chocolate and liquourice features without going over-the-top, subtle black pepper and dried herb notes, firm acids and dusty tannins (***1/2)

Peter Dennis Merlot 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, fragrant nose with redcurrant, plum and dark chocolate, light pepper and cinnamon features come to fore on the mid-palate, earthy with balanced tannins, light French oak (***1/2)

Peter Dennis Grenache 2001

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, nose is still fairly tight, full bodied and intense earthy palate with cassis and dark plum with violet and dried herbs, tarry and dark olive nuances, long spicy eucalypt finish, dusty tannins (****)

Peter Dennis Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Purchased: St. Kilda Cellars ($22)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2005, full bodied McLaren Vale style, takes no prisoners but plesantly varietal for the vintage, ripe blackcurrant, complex mid-palate (slightly chocolate Shiraz-style), long minty finish, punchy and meaty (***1/2)