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2013 Warrabilla Limited Release Parola’s Durif
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- Cellar 10 - 15 years (2024-2029)
- ABV 17.5%
- Closure: Diam Cork
2013: THE WARRABILLA FACTOR
We could wax lyrical about alcohols, their tightrope balance and their aching concentration as we've done in the past, but besides ourselves, no one is more excited about these latest efforts than winemaker, Andrew Sutherland Smith. And rightly so. Following several heartbreaking vintages, this is arguably his finest collection to date, standing as unique achievements in the world of wine. Here he is, summing it up in a style and candour that resonates in his phenomneal wines: "I think they are our best yet, with 2013 being the best year for reds since 1992... so that’s 21 years.
I asked Dad if in the family’s 150 year history whether we’d ever been through three “bad” years.. Yes said Dad! 73,74,75 , plus another in the dim dark days when dinosaurs roamed. But NEVER four. Thank goodness he was on the money, as we would have been in a world of hurt without the 13’s. The nice thing about the 13 vintage for us was that it vindicated putting the wet vintages onto the ground. So many have made wines in the last few years that are just damaging to the long term reputation of their label. Basically there were three rain events in March to determine the quality of our reds...One in the 1st week, and quite a few locals jumped in to beat the rain (they made hard green thin wines, then there was the cyclone on the 20/3/13 which dumped 50 mm on us...if you had Cabernet out there after that it was toast (we beat that rain by a few hours and the cyclone by 2 km), and exactly a week later another 25mm which would have destroyed the remainder. We finished picking the Durif four hours before that! In perfect condition! Phew! Its a great year , but plenty “read” the season badly. We had a dream run. Not only did we have some brilliant fruit to work with, but we also had our daughter Amy joining us as Assistant Winemaker to spread the workload".
For anyone who considers the Warrabilla reds porty or sweet, he responds, "We recently put in a Spectrophotometre and Amy can happily tell you the residual sugars on all our wines are incredibly low. So much for my winemaker mates who constantly tell me my wines are “sweet”...errr all the reds are way less than 1g/L which is staggeringly dry . Plus I really HATE sweet reds, they age badly and go porty flabby easily."
Finally, for those intent to cellar rather than indulge (and these wines are keepers), it is interesting to note Sutherland Smith's preference for Diam corks over stelvins. "It's my pet hate being asked (sneeringly) when we are going to screwcaps! Diams cost me four times the price, but for big reds, screwcaps seem to make the wines look hard and tough with age". Out of line with most of the Australian winemaking fraternity, but then, so is almost everything about this amazing vineyard.
‘A behemoth of a wine and a potential legend in the making.’
Only produced in perfect vintages this is the first Parola’s Durif made since the 2009. Matured in 100% new American puncheons the wine has a magnificent glass staining colour showing paint like cling to the walls of the glass. An impenetrable inky black core with a very deep black dark purple hue. Black cherry and liquorice aromas are followed by hints of dark chocolate, black plum, vanillin cedar and spice. Explosive, opulent and penetrating with vintage port like concentration and density, yet not a trace of heat apparent. The balance is impeccable for such a high octane beast. Almost achingly intense flavours of black and morello cherry, liquorice and black plum overwhelm the senses; nuances of dark chocolate, vanillin oak and spice follow. The sheer body and power of the wine threatens to fall over - if not for support by tannins the size of Conan the Barbarian. The aftertaste of black and morello cherries, liquorice, dark chocolate and spicy vanillin oak is utterly profound. A riveting Durif experience that will no doubt go 10 years plus.