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JAMES SUCKLING | OCTOBER 2022

BY TORBRECK VINTNERS

By James Suckling, October 2022

www.jamessuckling.com

2019 RunRig

98 points

Blackberry, blueberry and some spice aromas here. Sandalwood and cedar. Full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins that spread across the palate and show superb depth of concentration. Yet it’s agile and light-footed. Goes on for minutes. Tight still with illustrious depth and power. 30 months in French oak barrels. 50% new.

 

2020 The Struie

98 points

The black ink and lead pencil aromas are impressive with blackberry and raspberry aromas that are intense and fresh. Full-bodied, blackberry, blueberry and crushed stone. Flavorful and chewy. Lots of center palate here. Wow. This needs time to soften. Great structure and length. Better after 2026..

 

2020 The Pict

97 points

This is a fantastic mataro (mourvedre) with the classic bark, bay leaf and green undertones, such as rose stem, to the blackberry and blueberry fruit character. Full-bodied with extremely polished and plush tannins that fill the mouth but remain balanced and creamy textured throughout. Flavorful finish. Give it time to come together. Better after 2025.

 

2019 The Factor

97 points

Incredible black ink, blackberry, lead pencil and granite aromas. Hints of spearmint. Bark and mushroom, too. Deep and dark with superb depth and intensity. Tight at the end but then it opens and shows a weightless sensibility. Has vineyards back to the 1900s. Drinkable but better in 2024.

 

2019 Descendant

97 points

Terrific intensity and depth with blackberry, blueberry, black ink, graphite and umami. Pencil shavings. Full and very fine with depth and richness. Co-fermented with 8% viogner. This is a wine that seduces you with its aromas and complexity. You just want to smell it. Give it three to four years to open. Try after 2025.

 

2021 Woodcutter's Shiraz

96 points

Lovely ripened blackberries and raspberries. Al dente. Full-bodied yet so refined and focused with crisp acidity and ultra-fine, creamy tannins. Succulent and crunchy but focused and structured. Bright and purposeful. Drink after 2024 but already hard to hold back. Screw cap.

 

2020 Harris Grenache

95 points

An impressive blackberry and blueberry with iron and pencil shavings on the nose and palate. Full and dense with focus and polish. Unique mineral undertone to this. Drive and focused. Drinkable but a year or two will make it even better.

 

2020 Hillside Vineyard Grenache

95 points

Made from bush vines planted in 1949 with subtle cloves and black pepper. Some asphalt. Medium-bodied with fine tannins. Chalky texture with black fruits and crushed stone minerality to it. Pure grenache. Spicy. Drink or hold.

 

2017 The Laird

95 points

Blackberry, black mushroom, black truffle, and black dirt. Purple fruit. Roasted meat and wet earth. It full-bodied, rich and powerful with chocolate and toasted oak. Impressive depth and power. This was a wetter year so not the depth as normal years but still impressive. A little warm at the end. Planted in 1958.

 

2020 The Gask

95 points

A tight red with blackberry, crushed stone, iron, and wet earth aromas and flavors. It’s medium-bodied, firm and silky tannins with bright fruit and a fresh finish. Linear at the end. Closed now. Drinkable but give it time. Better after 2025.

 

2021 Cuvee Juveniles

94 points

Aromas of graphite, slate, and dark berry with some nutmeg. Medium-bodied with attractive fruit and fine, delicate tannins that give form to the wine and deliver fresh and medium fruit on the finish. So drinkable and delicious. Very savory. The crushed black pepper really comes through. 47% grenache, 32% mataro, 10% carignan, 9% counoise, and 2% syrah.

 

2020 The Steading

94 points

Lots of blue fruits, graphite and black pepper here. Hints of crushed stone. Fresh and vivid. Fine tannins run through the center palate and set it up nicely. Medium body. Creamy finish. 65% grenache, 20% shiraz, and 15% mataro. Partial whole bunch. Drink or hold

 

2019 Les Amis

94 points

A solid and rather chunky grenache, this is muscular. It’s full-bodied yet formed and framed with serious tannins that are polished and flexing. Lots of blackberry and lead pencil. Savory. Juicy. Hints of wood at the end. This needs three or four years to come together. Better after 2024.

 

2022 Wodcutter's Semillon

94 points

A bright and fresh semillon with sliced green apples, pears and mineral aromas and flavors. Some aniseed. It’s medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Real Aussie semillon. So fresh and beautiful. Tangy and driven. Subtle. These are grapes from vineyards planted in sand in 1890. Drink or hold. Screw cap.

 

2022 Cuvee Juveniles Blanc

93 points

A new white from Torbreck. Fantastic honeysuckle and sliced white pineapple with green apple and pear with floral undertones. Flinty too. It’s medium to full body. Crisp and vivid. Complex and refreshing. A blend of 47% roussanne, 25% marsanne, 19% clairette, 7% grenache blanc, and 2% viognier. Drink now. Screw cap.

 

 

 

 

THE LATEST WINE ADVOCATE REVIEWS HAVE BEEN RELEASED AND TORBRECK SCORES A PERFECT 100/100 AGAIN.

 

2010 RUNRIG

 
   

Rating: 100
From: Barossa Valley, South Australia
Variety: Shiraz

Deep garnet-black with a hint of purple to the colour, the 2010 RunRig taunts at first with a slightly closed nose before it engages with subtle kirsch, preserved plum, dried mulberry and Christmas cake notes intermingled with hints of violets, cinnamon stick, mocha and game. Full-bodied, rich and incredibly concentrated, the palate astonishes with incredible poise for such a big style as it perfectly balances the wine’s generous fruit flavours with firm, velvety tannins and seamlessly vibrant, lively acid. It finishes with incredible persistence. Delicious now, it should drink best 2016 to 2028+. Lisa Perrotti-Brown NW

With the 2005 and 2008 Laird both receiving perfect scores over the last few years, this time it was our flagship 2010 RunRig.

After last year’s impressive 2009 RunRig receiving 99 points both the winery team, led by Craig and the vineyard team led by Jason were confident that this was the best RunRig ever made.

Many wineries around the world dream of getting one perfect score from Robert Parker. Craig and his team are in an amazing purple patch with three 100/100 in the last 4 years. Other top scores from this years Wine Advocate reviews includes: 
2010 THE FACTOR – 97+
2010 DESCENDANT – 96

and a true indication of the vineyard and winery teams skill and commitment to quality is a score of 92 POINTS for the 2011 STRUIE. To deliver a wine of that quality from what many called the most difficult vintage in 40 years shows how hard they work to attain perfection.

THE CLAN EXCLUSIVE PRE OFFER
The 2010 RunRig, 2010 The Factor and 2010 Descendant are currently only available through our cellar door so please register your interest to purchase early as these wines will sell out.
Email cellardoor@torbreck.com

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History

Dave Powell’s simple philosophy of “great wines are made in the vineyard” leads to a laissez-faire approach. Traditional winemaking techniques comprising batch vinification in open concrete fermenters are combined with suitably offbeat ideas about the effects of ultra-violet and gravitational pull on the polymerisation of tannins, fermentation speeds and Baumé levels. The tiny (3%) Viognier component and the American oak-matured Shiraz pressings profoundly influence the aroma and flavour profile. The wine is matured in 40% new French oak for up to two and a half years. In this vintage, yields were only 1.5 tons of fruit per acre, and production was a minuscule 150 cases.

         RunRig is the flagship wine of the Australian Torbreck Vintners. Formed in 1994 in the historical hamlet of Marananga, Torbreck has quickly become one of the Barossa Valley’s leading wine producers. Since those first wines were released, they have attracted universal acclaim and are now highly prized by wine connoisseurs around the world. Still, Torbreck is a privately owned and operated company, following the philosophy, direction and passionate beliefs of the founder winemaker David Powell. Accordingly, this is more than just a story about producing fine wine; it also illustrates how a unique relationship between a region’s heritage and its old vineyards can be reinvigorated by one person’s vision and enthusiasm.

         It was in the early 1990s that the idea of Torbreck began to take shape. Initially, David was saddened by the government-sponsored “vine pull”, but he was also convinced that a market existed for old Rhône styles. He set about approaching local landowners concerning their neglected properties. Nearly lifeless and overgrown, the old vines were nurtured back to health and Powell was rewarded with a few small parcels of dry grown fruit, which he turned into wine. Contracts were then negotiated for the use of the vineyards, and so the old practice of share farming returned to the Valley.  This secured for Torbreck a regular supply from the best Barossa Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvedre) vineyards containing some of the oldest vines in the world.

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Winemaking

As the fruits of the first vintages lay in barrel, Powell realised that the Valley may have overlooked the suitability of the French white Rhône varieties. Consequently in 1994, 30 acres of land in Marananga was purchased for the sole purpose of planting Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier and Shiraz, whilst other acquisitions included a 100-year-old vineyard that had previously been share farmed.

In 1995, three tons of grapes were crushed in an old milling shed on Powell’s 12-hectare Marananga property and fermented into the first vintage of Torbreck. The winery was named after a forest in Scotland where Powell had once worked as a woodcutter.

David’s philosophy is the culmination of his experiences and the belief that “by sourcing great quality fruit, you encapsulate the character of the vine”. This philosophy forms the backbone of Torbreck’s non-interventionist winemaking style, where the goal is to keep the wine clean and balanced between rich, ripe fruit and a subtle, harmonious use of oak.

“RunRig Shiraz, named after a Scottish distribution method of property, is derived from 80- to 140-year-old dry grown vineyards mostly located on the north-western fringe of the Barossa. The soils are primarily red-brown loams with a high proportion of clay. Typically the vines will crop at around three to five tonnes per hectare. Harvest is a few weeks later than normal to allow the tannins to reach optimum ripeness. Although this may translate to higher sugar content, it is never at the expense of freshness, intrinsic balance and vinosity,” Andrew Tierney from Torbreck explains.

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Inside information

In July 2002 the historic Hillside property was acquired by Torbreck. Situated in Lyndoch, it is one of the original Barossa properties. Vast and picturesque it contains some magnificent old and ancient vineyards that will further our source of premium quality fruit. The Hillside property contains a wonderful native ecosystem that supports a myriad of flora and fauna. Plans are underway to restore Hillside to it's former glory and create wines to reflect the history and significance of this grand old property.

In June 2003 at the finish of vintage, we opened our cellar-door for sales. An original settlers hut, it has been lovingly restored and provides a personal touch and some Barossa warmth whilst you taste our wines. It is open daily and we welcome any visits.

A new winery and administration facility was completed in 2008 on land acquired from a next door neighbour. This enables our grapes to be made into wine using the best available equipment and then bottled 'on the estate' using our own bottling line. We now have complete control of all aspects of production that sees a new benchmark of wine quality established by us in the Barossa Valley.

In 2008 Torbreck Vintners was acquired by Pete Kight. Pete has wine interests in both the U.S. and Australia and is committed to ensuring the ongoing excellence of Torbreck wines. He truly believes that our best wines are yet to come.

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14 different wines with 74 vintages

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