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Torbreck Runrig Shiraz 2015

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    Torbreck is a winery on a mission to become one of the world's great wine brands. Since 1994, they have remained committed to creating exceptional Rhone-style red and white wines that reflect the very best vineyards in Australia's famous Barossa region. Provenance is everything to them, and they believe that the Barossa is the most exciting place to make wine in the world. With a European sense of tradition, Torbreck pays tribute to the vineyards with minimal intervention, creating wines of richness, structure and length that age gracefully. The multi-generational growers, whose descendants arrived here nearly two centuries ago, are the backbone of Torbreck's winemaking aspirations. They work in partnership with the people of the Barossa who grow their fruit, always aiming to get the very best out of their vineyard sites. At Torbreck, they constantly seek to understand the difference between all of these special places in the Barossa and how this combination of soil, climate and farming experience is reflected in unique grape flavors. They are simply custodians, enhancing the innate expressiveness of the wines and enabling them to reveal over time their individual origins and personality. Torbreck is actually named after the forest near Inverness, Scotland where the winery's founder, David Powell worked as a lumberjack after completing university studies.

    The winemaking style at Torbreck is meticulous and dedicated to producing exceptional wines. They use carefully selected 225-litre oak barriques for maturation, known as Dominique Laurent 'Magic Casks'. The oak is personally harvested from Forêt de Tronçais in Allier, and the staves are aged for 48 to 54 months at an exposed location for maximum seasoning. The staves are then hand-made into barrels and heated over three differing flames for several hours, resulting in a gentle toast due to the remarkable density of the wood. Torbreck's winemaking style reflects their commitment to producing exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Barossa region.

    The Torbreck RunRig Shiraz is a wine that pays homage to the Highland clans "RunRig" system of communal land distribution. This system emphasized the communal element of the whole rather than any one farm, and the RunRig Shiraz embodies this philosophy by blending Shiraz from old dry-grown vineyards with Viognier to complement the strengths and complexities of each individual parcel of fruit, giving the wine a further dimension. The resulting wine has often drawn comparisons with the beautifully fragrant and tautly structured wines produced from the steep slopes of the Northern Rhône Valley's Appellation of Côte Rôtie. With this wine, Torbreck has created a true masterpiece that embodies the spirit of community and the beauty of the land.

    The Torbreck Runrig Shiraz 2015 is a silky and fragrant wine that rewards those with patience. The vintage was marked by above-average rains in 2014, which filled the soil profile, followed by a helpful deluge of rain for dry-grown vineyards in January 2015. Generally dry for the remainder of vintage, warm days and cool nights created the perfect ripening conditions. Upon opening, intense, lifted aromatics of dense cherry plum and dark chocolate come to the fore with an opulent fruit profile of mulberry and five-spice. The palate is silky textured with deep red cherry fruits, clove and liquorice all interwoven with hints of sweet spice and cinnamon. The layers and diverse fruit characters continue to evolve in the glass with hints of ironstone, anise, blackberry and pepper becoming more persistent in the finish. The wine is a blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Viognier. It spent 30 months on new, second fill and third fill French oak barriques, completing a natural malolactic fermentation in the barrel and resting on fine lees throughout maturation to enhance texture. The wine has crimson and deep purple hues with savoury tones and firm tannins that interplay with a generous, silky, textural mid-palate weight. The finish is firm and persistent, making this wine a great candidate for cellaring for 15 to 20 years.

    Destemmed, open-fermented, 7 days on skins, matured for 30 months in French barriques (50% new) before blending trials determined 2% of viognier be blended in. One of the classic Torbreck wines, with the added benefits of the ‘15 vintage. It is a gorgeously deep pool of supple, mouthfilling/watering fruit flavours (impossible, I know, but it is). Seduction clinically confronts and comforts the consumer. Black fruits, licorice and a shaft of dark chocolate, plus oak, do the business. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion, 97 Points.

    This is the best young RunRig I can remember tasting in a long time: utterly seductive perfumed black fruit pours out of the glass, inviting you to take a sip and luxuriate in the wine’s mouth-filling but wonderfully balanced flavour and firm but supple grip. If I were a cynical sort, I’d suspect this wine is the main game for Torbreck: sure, the Laird attracts all the attention, much of it because of the price, but that then makes RunRig (of which more is produced) seem like good value in comparison. Which it is, of course. IAN HONGELL, Winemaker.

    Who would’ve thought that in the context of Barossa Shiraz, the 2015 RunRig would seem like a relative bargain? It’s certainly much less expensive than Grange or Hill of Grace will be when they’re released. It’s also more approachable in its youth, with enormously appealing aromas of grilled fruit, savory complexities and rich, velvety tannins. Of course, it’s full-bodied and concentrated, with the stuffing to age for up to a couple of decades, and it has a long, licorice-tinged finish. Winemaker Ian Hongell, who joined Torbreck from Peter Lehmann, may not have made this wine, but he deserves a lot of credit for the blending and finishing of this tour de force".  Joe Czerwinskithe, Wine Advocate, 98 Points.

    The Finer Details
    Style - Red Wine
    Varietal - Shiraz, Viognier
    Country - Australia
    Region - Barossa, South Australia
    Vintage - 2015
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 15%