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Torbreck Runrig Shiraz 2019

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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 2019 is a wine that showcases the resilience of the vineyards and the winemakers in the face of challenging growing conditions. The continuously warm to hot summer with no effective rainfall, wind and hail at flowering and three major frosts resulted in an earlier and much smaller harvest than average. However, these tough conditions produced smaller clusters of intensely dark berries with thick fleshy skins contrasted against brown mature stalks. Once these vineyards were fermenting in the cellar, the concentration of colour, tannin and aroma of the 2019 vintage was revealed. On the nose, the wine has complex and lifted aromatics of dense black fruits such as blackberries, satsuma plum and black cherry cassis and mulberry complemented with dark chocolate, cacao bean vanilla pod tar and star anise and Turkish delight. The opulent full-bodied mouthfeel and vibrancy is a real standout on a plush yet mineral strewn, velvety textured palate. The complex layers and fruit characters continue to evolve in the glass with firm but drying tannins seamlessly balanced with long acid and statuesque posture and length. The wine is made up of 98.5% Shiraz and 1.5% Viognier and has been matured for 30 months on new (50%), second fill and third fill French oak barriques, completing a natural malolactic fermentation in barrel and resting on fine lees throughout maturation to enhance texture. The wine has a deep aubergine colour with an opaque core. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, intense, firm and long. The tannins are impressive as is the depth and balance that will live on for decades. This impressive RunRig vintage is one to keep in the wine cellar for 30+ years and is best served at 16C with beef rib or osso buco.

    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. - James Suckling, 98 points.

    The Finer Details
    Style - Red Wine
    Varietal - Shiraz, Viognier
    Country - Australia
    Region - Barossa, South Australia
    Vintage - 2019
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 15%