The BIG question

Warrabilla has always made big red wines. This is not something that can really be questioned.

When the 2018 vintage red wines were released for sale we were excited and then a little bit puzzled. Smithy (Andrew Sutherland Smith – the chief winemaker) has made a Parola’s Durif in 2018 but not a Parola’s Shiraz.

For those unfamiliar with Warrabilla, Parola’s label red wines are only made in the very best vintages from the very best fruit and are an experience simply not to be missed.

So when 2018 was recognised as a Parola’s vintage, we started to wonder why there has not been a Parola’s Shiraz made. One possibility is that the wine just didn’t quite make the cut that Smithy demands of his wines to give it a Parola’s label. If this is the case, it could mean the 2018 Reserve Shiraz is a big one (and since the reserve Shiraz is $25 per bottle compared to $35 for the latest Parola’s Shiraz the value for money here could be quite something).

Our Review: The 2018 Reserve Shiraz is quite a wine; Smithy was justified in not putting a Parola’s label on it however. The colour is typical of the BIG red wines Warrabilla is famous for and the nose is similarly huge, although the alcohol does dominate the other, more delicate aromas, making it difficult to an extent to tell that this is a Shiraz and not a Durif. The palate is very complex, almost worthy of a Parola’s classification but the balance in the finish is not quite as finely tuned as in the 2013 and 2015 examples, both of which were Parola’s years for Shiraz. The absence of new oak is also quite evident, but doesn’t totally spoil the product as there is just so much fruit in the palate. At $25 per bottle, this is a wine we would recommend you try. If you don’t want to buy a dozen and don’t want to head to the cellar door up in Rutherglen, Nick’s wine merchants in Doncaster will supply you a bottle for the same price.

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