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Torbreck Runrig Shiraz 2020

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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 2020 is a wine that showcases the perseverance of the vineyards and the winemakers in the face of challenging growing conditions. Strong winds at flowering at the beginning of the growing season reduced berry and bunch count in many vineyards, and the difficult seasonal conditions continued up to harvest, with a dry winter and spring followed by very hot and dry December and January. Despite these challenges, older vineyards with deeper roots remained steadfast under these conditions and produced small volumes of deeply concentrated wines from the lower yields. The wine has an aubergine core with a deep purple rim. On the nose, the aromatics leap from the glass with great finesse and power yet with precision and focus. The lifted plum, black currant and dark cherry along with Turkish delight, star anise, earl grey tea and black olive combine with gorgeous plumes of subtle vanilla pod and cardamom aromas. On the palate, the wine is dense, firm and powerful yet holds incredibly balanced fruit intermingled with voluminous structure. The wine is made up of 98% Shiraz and 2% 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 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 delicious rich flavoured cuisines.

    Tasting the RunRig beside the Descendant is always a wise move, in order to gain some contextual understanding of how they are similar and, perhaps more importantly, how they differ. This 2020 RunRig was sourced from six different vineyards across Barossa (in Lyndoch, Rowland Flat, Moppa, Ebenezer, Light Pass and Greenock) and includes a 2% “dosage” (as winemaker Ian Hongell described it) of Viognier. Matured for 30 months in a combination of new French oak (50%) and second and third fill barrels, the wine rests on its lees for that time. The lower percentage of Viognier here is a seductive and effective thing, adding just enough slick and polish to make this the sybaritic wine that it is, but little enough to allow the grunt, grit and muscle of the Shiraz from all those glorious locations to shine through. Despite the very long time in oak, the wine is balanced and excellent, big in almost every possible way but with an undeniable sense of class and length of flavor. Executed with detail and precision, this wine is clearly defined in its expression of house style. - Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate, 97+ Points.

    This is so aromatic with flowers, orange blossom, and black berries with sliced mushrooms and earth. Surreal. Medium to full body, with bark and blackberry character. Some bramble berry, too. Chewy and delicious. Old vine uniqueness. Some grapes come from vines as old as 1858. - James Suckling, 97 Points.

    The Finer Details
    Style - Red Wine
    Varietal - Shiraz, Viognier
    Country - Australia
    Region - Barossa, South Australia
    Vintage - 2020
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 15.5%