Has Smithy seen the light?

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In the very best years with the very best fruit, Warrabilla wines, led by the artisan winemaker Andrew “Smithy” Sutherland Smith make the Parola’s label wines. 2018 was a Parola’s year for Durif. As mentioned in a previous post, it is uncommon for a Parola’s year to not include Shiraz and Durif, so we were keenly awaiting the arrival of our 2018 Parola’s Durif to see if it was as good as previous releases.

Before opening the bottle, we noticed that the wine was actually a bit on the light side for a Warrabilla Durif – at 16.5% alcohol (high by many standards, low by Warrabilla standards due to the alcohol-resistant strain of yeast they have found and the skill of the winemaker and use of oak barrels) we thought it was perhaps the lightest Parola’s Durif we had ever seen.

When the crew got together for a tasting, we had stood a bottle upright for 36 hours and then carefully decanted an hour before tasting (the sediment level was lower than recent experience with the wine) and were again in awe at the colour.

THIS IS THE BEST DURIF VINTAGE WE HAVE TASTED so perhaps Smithy is onto something with this “lighter” style.

The colour is like blackcurrant cordial, only deeper and darker. The nose is instantly recognisable as a Warrabilla Durif; in this case it is the black cherry that hits first, before the oak comes into the bouquet. The first taste has some chocolate flavours in the front before the black and purple fruit comes through and then the oak flavours finish the experience. When we averaged our scores this was right at the top of the red wine list and the best Warrabilla wine we have ever tried. Highly recommended at the bargain price of $37 per bottle.

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