www.jamessuckling.com June 2019: James Suckling and Nick Stock
In the Barossa Valley .... Torbreck is also making a meal of dishing up warm climate depth and flavor in a vibrantly attractive guise as it continues to make more balanced reds than in the past.
2016 The Factor
Dark fruit with iodine, muscle shell and hints of coal on the palate. Full-bodied, very tight and structured with steely tannins that give incredible length and poise. The greatest Factor I have ever tasted. Driven and brilliant. Better after 2021.
Old-vine magic. Some even come from 1858. The decadence and dusty, antique aromas and flavors are very impressive, yet it’s not overdone. Licorice, dark berries, smoke and graphite. A blend of 98% shiraz and 2% viognier. Better in 2021.
A wine that really sits at the heart of the Torbreck DNA with plenty of blackberries and plums. Graphite and dark chocolate, too. There’s a beautifully exotic peppery and spicy edge here. The co-fermented viognier really is exceptional. The length and build on the palate is phenomenal and the weight of tannin is convincing, all thick and velvety. A blend of 94% shiraz and 6% viognier. Drink or hold.
2017 Hillside Vineyard Shiraz Roussanne
A wonderful red with meat, berries, chocolate and wet earth. Yet, ever so fresh and bright. Full body. Lightly dusty tannins. Smoky, citrus and berry flavors at the end. 92% shiraz and 8% roussanne. Drink now.
2017 The Struie
The black-licorice and tar aromas really give focus and character to this young red, yet it’s so solid and tight with oyster-shell undertones to the light toffee and smoky flavors. Lavish and agile. Drink now
2017 Hillside Vineyard Grenache
A creamy and sexy grenache that reminds me of some of the top pure grenaches from Chateauneuf. Full and silky with a polished texture and a lemon and citrus undertone to the ripe fruit. Shows tension and focus. Drink now.
2017 The Gask
There’s a very exotic array of dark spices here with flinty and minerally nuances that frame up dark chocolate, red plums, pepper and ferrous, iron-like edges. The palate has a very fine, composed, contained core with plums and chocolate and a granular texture with a long, plum-stone finish. Drink or hold.
2017 The Steading
Wonderfully earthy notes with porcini, dark chocolate, ripe red berries and a blackberry edge. The palate has focus and density; fine-grained tannins carry ripe dark plums and berries long. A blend of 52% grenache, 25% shiraz and 23% mataro. Drink or hold.
2018 Woodcutter's Shiraz
A beautiful, refined and punchy young red. There’s a lively edge to it with charcoal and licorice to the dark fruit. Medium-bodied, firm and lively. Tight and focused with linear tannins. Drink or hold. Screw Cap