Up until now I have never quite understood James Halliday's comment that Peter Schell, the winemaker of Spinifex, is 'out-Torbrecking' Torbreck. Torbreck picks grapes late and very ripe to make big wines. Spinifex picks relatively early to make refreshing and vibrant wines. Most of these are blends of several Rhone varieties.
The 2008 Spinifex La Maline is a little different. Is is a Shiraz/Viognier blend, but Shiraz clearly dominates. This wine creates a big mouthfeel. Actually, I found it most harmoneous on day three of opening. It does have some red plum flavours, but dark fruit dominates. Alcohol is at a significant 14.5%, but is not especially noticeable, so big is the fruit. Tannins and acidity create a firm grip on the back palate. This wine is very different from the smooth Clonakilla or the delicious flavours I typically associate with Spinifex. Having said this, if you open this wine long enough, it comes together well and you are keen on a second glass.