Wine Words & Video Tape

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LIWF: Torbreck

Written by JW. Posted in Australia

David Powell established Torbreck Vintners in 1994 after working at Rockford. The wines are a testament to his efforts in searching out old, dry-grown semi abandoned vine plots in the Barossa at a time when it seemed pretty unfashionable. Powell picks on phenolics not on grape chemistry and makes very individualistic, exotic, funky reds, high in flavour and in alcohol. Imagine a ménage a trois between Barossa Shiraz, Southern Rhone Grenache and Grand Cru Burgundy. Decadent and original wines which inspire near cult following. Torbreck itself is named after a forest in Scotland where Powell once worked as a lumberjack.

Torbreck, Cuvee Juvenilles 2009

Mid depth; spicy and attractive wine; ripe and sexy; forward and easy; finishes good; red fruits. Pretty good. [60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mouvedre, unoaked 14.5%] 88+/100

Torbreck The Steading 2008

Deeper; quite lifted; sexy, full; red fruits, spices very open Grenache; good grip; very attractive wine. Wine aged in hogsheads for 24 months. GSM blend. 15% 90+/100

Torbreck Les Amis 2006

Mid red; very open sexy nose; quote cake like and lifted; really ripe and full and hedonistic palate; full and lush. Burgundy crossed with great Gigondas. 100% Grenache from Seppeltsfield vineyard [Homes Vineyard] planted in 1901. Spends 18 months in new French oak. 92+/100

Torbreck, The Pict 2006

Mid depth; ripe, rich; very unctuous; rich spicy palate but with grip and chew, very attractive; tobacco, undergrowth alongside red fruits too. Fascinating. 100% Mourvedre from a block planted in 1920s. All new oak and open top fermented, gravity racked to barrel where it underwent its MLF. Terrific. 15% 93+/100

Torbreck, Woodcutter’s Shiraz 2008

Deep; opulent nose; open and velvety palate; sweet and open, very ripe and hedonistic. Easy and sexy. Fruit from a number of growers which has spent 12 months in oak foudres. 92+/100

Torbreck, The Struie 2007

Denser colour; intense looking; very unctuous and velvety notes on the nose; open again; extremely ripe palate, easy and extremely attractive. Spices, red fruits, and very open. 100% Shiraz [60% Barossa Valley fruit, 40% Eden Valley 20 months in oak barriques. 15.5%]. Terrific. 93+/100

Torbreck, The Factor 2006

Deep red; some earth and undergrowth, leather as well as blackcurrant notes; rich and ripe on the palate, dense and leathery; some tobacco. Pretty funky. 100% Shiraz, from old vine plots, 24 months in French oak barriques, 50% new 14.9%]. 93+/100

Torbreck, The Descendant 2006

Deep and dense; voluptuous nose; decadent and ripe; plump and extremely attractive. Quite feminine style on the palate, very cashmere and caressing; wonderfully rich and soft. Almost too easy. [Single vineyard block next to winery co-fermented with 7% Viogner and aged for 18 months in used barrels]. 92+/100

Torbreck, RunRig 2006

Deep; extremely ripe fruit with undergrowthy edge on the nose; very attractive; almost voluptuous; very ripe palate reminiscent of grand cru Cote de Nuits mixed with funky Northern Rhone in an outrageously warm year. No hint of jam or raisin just exotic and great fun. 30 months in French oak [60% new] 97% Shiraz, 3% Vioigner [added at assemblage]. 15% 94+/100 

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