It has always been my intention to release our top end wines with some bottle age. As much as I would like for that to be a couple of years, I have been able to convince our bean counters that we will release the wines with at least six months bottle age, hence the release of the much awaited 2006 RunRig.
Being a cooler year, the wine does not have quite the upfront power as the warmer 2005, but has a remarkable delineation of fruit on the palate that is second to none as those of you that have tried our other wines from this vintage will understand. It is a funny thing: the vintages that follow in the shadow of a supposed great vintage are often turn out better in the long run – think '99 compared to '98, '91 compared to '90. Whatever the outcome – this is classic RunRig and a remarkable bottle of wine.
We recently hosted a group of thirty people from Antinori at the winery, the type of visit we relish as it gives us a chance to strut our stuff to our much longer established fellow vintners. I have been friends with the Antinori family for a long time and so it was a pleasure to have their Oenologist and sales people come to visit us at Marananga.
Initially they were quite reserved but after the first couple of tastes their natural Italian exuberance came to the fore. The first question I was asked by their Oenologist was whether I aimed to make wines that were powerful or balanced and elegant. I simply answered "Both". He looked at me incredulously, but when he tried the 2006 Factor, he said "I see what you mean." He added that after two weeks in Australia it was fantastic to finally see some wines that have the exuberant fruit expected from Australia combined with the style and elegance of their classic old world counterparts.
As you probably realise, I love to travel. However, no matter where my travels take me, whenever I return home I realise why I love living here in the Barossa. It's more than just wine – it has great natural beauty, it's a fantastic place to bring up kids and, as anyone who has been to Saturday's Farmer's Market will attest, great produce grown by passionate people.
Good wine needs good food and we are fortunate to have more than our fair share of talented cooks and chefs in the Barossa, the doyen of which is Maggie Beer. I have known Maggie for years, initially through their restaurant (which is now Maggie Beer's Farm Shop – which is conveniently just down the road from my house).
Maggie's husband Colin is a valued grower and I made the first few vintages of their wine for them, so not only are we just down the road from each other, but know each other very well. We are hosting a dinner together in Sydney at The Hilton's glass restaurant on October 27th, with Maggie's menu and our wine. We'll be discussing food, wine and all things Barossan and love to see you there. If you would like to make a booking for the dinner, please contact the Hilton on (02) 9265 6068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Global Financial Crisis – every cloud has a silver lining.
No matter where I go in the world, people always ask me about the effect of the global financial crisis on Torbreck.
We are a luxury brand and, like everyone, we are feeling its effects. It's not all doom and gloom though. What we have observed is that rather than buying so much wine, people have been drinking wines from their cellar. As a result of this I have been getting lots of feedback both in person, through blogs and wine forums on the internet saying that one of the few the highly rated Australian wines that look better now than when first purchased is Torbreck.
There has been a move in the (US in particular), away from the big monolithic fruit bombs. Our wines have never been in that genre and so we are not feeling as much pressure as some others in the business. We are grateful to be a well established, privately held company and we will weather the storm and come out on the other side all the better for it. Those of you that know the history of Torbreck, with a divorce and the changing of business partners will know that I am both tenacious and a "glass half full" kind of person, and relish the challenge ahead.