Torbreck Tasting review by Max Allen, Financial Review, June 7 2018
2013 THE LAIRD SHIRAZ
Yes, it’s five years old, but it’s still a baby: all the different flavours packed into this dark purple wine (heaps of them: brown spice, damp earth, wild blackberry fruit, savoury oak) are circling around each other in the mouth, waiting to knit together. It needs a few more years to relax, harmonise, concentrate: the atypically “elegant” 2010 vintage is drinking well now (great intensity but superbly poised), and the 2006 is sheer joy: exuberant black fruit, fabulous vibrant presence on the tongue.
2015 RUNRIG SHIRAZ VIOGNIER
Due to be released on July 1, this is the best young RunRig I can remember tasting in a long time: utterly seductive perfumed black fruit pours out of the glass, inviting you to take a sip and luxuriate in the wine’s mouth-filling but wonderfully balanced flavour and firm but supple grip. If I were a cynical sort, I’d suspect this wine is the main game for Torbreck: sure, the Laird attracts all the attention, much of it because of the price, but that then makes RunRig (of which more is produced) seem like good value in comparison. Which it is, of course.
2016 HILLSIDE VINEYARD GRENACHE
I’ve been a big fan of Torbreck’s grenache based wines since the first release in 1997 of The Steading red blend (I often prefer them to the shirazes, to be honest; I find them more expressive and characterful). This grenache is new to the range and it’s very good indeed: rose-petal fragrant and pepper-spicy, it’s a lovely example of the new wave of finer, more medium-bodied expressions of the grape proliferating in the Barossa – albeit in a typically full flavoured, Torbreck style.
Max Allen, Financial Review, June 2018