By design, La Maline has always been Spinifex's purest and most finely structured expression of Barossa Shiraz. Vine age, altitude, and poor, sandy soils inform both the quality and the style. The 2018 wine is cropped from meticulously tended, 25- to 120-year-old, dry-grown vines on high-altitude sites (320 to 495 metres), spread across the Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and the Barossa Ranges. Vinification is kept pretty simple: all fruit is hand-harvested and fermented with indigenous yeasts in open oak and steel fermenters for between 12 and 21 days before pressing. The 2018 saw between 30-45% whole bunches in the ferments and around 2% pressed Viognier marc was included in the must. Maturation took place in French oak barriques and demi-muids (approximately 40% new) on light lees for 20 months prior to assemblage and bottling.
As The Wine Front note makes clear, this is a staggeringly beautiful wine and again, is in best-ever territory for La Maline. It's medium to full-bodied, fine and fluid and multi-layered. You can expect lifted aromatics of black tea, black cherry, coffee grounds and dark rose. There's something wild, yet the wine remains very fine and detailed with super-fine tannins and a long, perfumed close. Another do-not-miss Spinifex red from 2018.
"Barossa Valley shiraz with a splash of Viognier. Super shiraz. Powerfully fruited but soft through the palate and, importantly, spread widely with tannin. A few sips and the word complete came to mind. Berries, earth, woodsmoke, peppercorns and toast. Viognier adds brightness and texture more than it does flavour, though it is (just) detectable. This feels like an outstanding wine at all points along the palate." 96 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
"Great depth and spread of flavour and a remarkable set of tannin. It's the complete red wine. Smoky, ripe, drenched in red berry and clove flavours, a finish that reaches far. Dark chocolate and toast characters are melted through, as indeed are dark roasted spice notes. Cracking wine." 97 points, Winecompanion.com.au
"Very complex and fragrant red cherries, boysenberries and raspberries here with pepper, forest wood, gun smoke and brown spices, as well as tarry notes. The palate has a succulent, dense and powerful feel with plenty of rich-fruit weight and a very concentrated, red to dark-fruit feel. Intense and long. Majestic, rich blackberries and blood plums cruise through the finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap."97 points, Nick Stock, Jamessuckling.com.au
"...This feels like an outstanding wine at all points along the palate." 96 points, Campbell Mattins..
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