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2012 Warrabilla Reserve Durif
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- Cellar 4 - 5 years (2017-2018)
- ABV 16%
- Closure: Cork
The Warrabilla wines are difficult to compare to anything else on the world market. Think of 'big' reds you've tasted in the past then get your Thesaurus out. Similes like "A Hippopotamus in a Tutu", and "Frankenstein-like" can be illuminating when you're at a loss for words to describe the wines of Warrabilla (the former is a favourite of ours and one which sums up the balancing act these wines so perfectly achieve). Winemaker and proprietor, Andrew Sutherland Smith is unquestionably a tall poppy with both followers and detractors. Critics have described his reds as '...impossible to judge by conventional standards'. He remains unfazed by the controversy. "Comments along the lines of big is bad or high alcohols are so wrong, are just ridiculous..." He adds "The only thing worse than a mean, green wine is a mean, green wine writer. It's not just about alcohol, it's about the black phase fruits that develop late in the season. It's a different profile." Few producers in the world have the guts and know-how to make reds like Warrabilla. How does Andrew Sutherland Smith get across the viticultural tightrope without the wines falling into a porty, jammy mess? There are several key factors that make him the "Master of Massive". It all starts in the vineyard. "Our soils are deep red clay loams. The rows are 4 metres wide (standard Australian width is 3 metres) and this gives us plenty of light and air to colour, ripen fully and give us the flavour profiles we’re after. Crops are pretty light at around 1.5 tonnes per acre.” The rate of fruit ripening is very dependent upon temperature, therefore, the more uniform the fruit zone environment, the more uniform the maturation of the fruit, with 75% of the quality coming from delivering uniformly ripe fruit to the winery. Andrew maintains “It’s all about light. The vertically, shoot positioned trellis maximizes it, while giving a bit of protection from excessive heat and sunburn. We taste berries as vintage progresses, looking for black/red fruit characters whilst avoiding excess shrivel and the dreaded dead fruit characters.” His final words of wisdom “Frankly, so long as the wine is in balance, we don’t care whether it’s 14% or 18% - it’s just got to have balance.” Tasting Note….
Matured for 12 months in French and American oak puncheons. Totally opaque inky black dark red colour with deep dark red black hue. The nose offers up scents of morello cherry, chocolate bullets, a touch of mocha and vanillin oak. Big and rich the palate is packed with densely concentrated, fleshy liquorice, dark chocolate, morello cherry, mocha and vanillin oak flavours. Richly textured with solid yet fine grained tannins. Long aftertaste of ripe morello cherry, liquorice, dark chocolate and spicy vanillin oak.
Cellar 4-5 years (2017-2018)