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Torbreck The Laird 2018

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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.

    Torbreck The Laird is the result of a rare and remarkable opportunity that Torbreck seized with passion and dedication. When presented with the chance to work with one of the most renowned vineyards in the Barossa Valley, they knew something extraordinary would be created. In 2003, Torbreck was approached by Malcolm and Joylene Seppelt, the fourth generation descendants of the Seppelt family, who entrusted their old Gnadenfrei vineyard in Marananga to Torbreck's winemakers. The vineyard, planted in 1958, spans five acres and is a treasure trove of traditional dry-grown vines sourced from original Barossa clones. Situated on the eastern side of a ridge between Seppeltsfield and Marananga appellations, the vineyard faces south and benefits from meticulous hand-tending, traditional farming methods and the expertise of a grower with a lifetime of experience in Western Barossa's unique dark clay loam and red friable clay soils. The meticulous care lavished upon these aged vines results in low yields of small, concentrated Shiraz berries that are the envy of winemakers throughout the Barossa Valley. When Torbreck first tasted the wine produced from this vineyard, it was clear that something truly exceptional had been created. Longingly, they watched as the wine was returned to the Seppelts, knowing that it was the best they had ever made. In 2005, Torbreck's unyielding belief in the potential of this vineyard led them to convince the Seppelts to sell the fruit, marking the birth of The Laird. Recognized as one of the world's greatest single vineyard Shiraz wines, The Laird solidifies its reputation as Torbreck acquired the Gnadenfrei vineyard in 2013, ensuring its legacy.

    Torbreck The Laird Shiraz 2018 is an exceptional wine that exemplifies the craftsmanship and dedication of Torbreck Vintners in the Barossa Valley. This vintage showcases the winery's commitment to producing top-quality Shiraz. In the glass, The Laird Shiraz 2018 displays a deep, inky purple colour, indicating its concentration and richness. The nose is greeted with an enticing bouquet of ripe blackberries, dark cherries and plums. These luscious fruit aromas are complemented by hints of spices like cinnamon and liquorice, as well as savoury notes of wet earth and native eucalypt, adding complexity to the aromatic profile. On the palate, The Laird Shiraz 2018 reveals its full-bodied nature with a velvety texture. The concentrated flavors of black fruits continue to shine, accompanied by nuances of dark chocolate, espresso and a touch of black pepper. The wine showcases a perfect balance between fruit, oak and tannins, resulting in a well-structured and elegant profile. The finish is long and lingering, leaving a lasting impression of dark fruit flavors, spices and a touch of earthiness.

    Single-vineyard wines that are at the behest and mercy of the seasons are very exciting to view over time. You understand the essence of the style of the wine and the vineyard DNA, so you sit, patiently waiting for the vintages and seasons that meet your personal proclivities to roll around. The 2018 vintage is one of those for me, as will be the cool 2021 and 2022 seasons. The fruit is sourced from the Gnadenfrei vineyard, which was planted in 1958, in Marananga. The fruit was picked over a variety of picks at optimal ripeness and matured for 36 months in new French oak barriques by Dominique Laurent. Eminently red-fruited in the mouth, this 2018 The Laird is reflective of the 2018 season, in that it is pure, fresh, laden with blood plum, saturated in red berries and framed by savory, exotically spiced black tannins. The oak, while a prominent feature of the wine, supports the fruit at all times and assists in extending the flavor through the finish. Thick in the mouth, yet still fresh, there is a moreish quality to this wine. I love it. (It is likely unnecessary to tell you that the wine is incredibly full-bodied. It is enveloping and huge but wonderful. - Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate, 99 Points

    The Finer Details
    Style - Red Wine
    Varietal - Shiraz
    Country - Australia
    Region - Barossa Valley, South Australia
    Vintage - 2018
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 15.5%