The Wine Advocate, March 2019 by Joe Czerwinski
VARIETY: Shiraz Viognier
A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Viognier made just prior to bottling, the 2016 RunRig is a complete masterpiece. It kicks off with elegant notes of pencil shavings accenting blueberries and blackberries on the nose, then shows incredible, palate-staining intensity of fruit in the mouth. It's full-bodied, plush and velvety without being unstructured and manages to be fruit-forward yet savory on the long-lasting finish, where it picks up hints of mocha and black olives. This should be drinkable with pleasure throughout its entire two-decade life (it may live longer from cold cellars or in larger formats), but if I were lucky enough to have a bottle or two, I'd try the first one about 10 years out. Scheduled for June 2019 release.
VARIETY: Shiraz Viognier
A blend of 94% Shiraz and 6% Viognier aged in second fill barriques (all French oak), the 2016 Descendant features lovely floral aromas, accented by blueberries and a hint of apricot. On the palate, it's full-bodied, rich and creamy in texture, hugely mouthfilling yet somehow without excessive weight or heat, while the plush, velvety finish adds a hint of dark chocolate. It's a terrific success at a still-reasonable price for the quality.
2016 The Factor
Torbreck's 2016 The Factor incorporates what winemaker Ian Hongell calls their "most structured Shiraz, from a lot of ironstone soils." It spends two years in French oak barriques, half of which were new, so it shows hints of cedar pencil shavings and toasted coconut layered over ripe blackberries and spice. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it finishes long, with terrific energy and drive. It should prove to be one of the longest-lived wines from this lineup.
2017 The Struie
A blend of Barossa Valley (79%) and Eden Valley (21%) fruit aged 18 months in 30% new French oak, Torbreck's 2017 The Struie is another one of the values to be had from this producer. Marked by pronounced floral and blueberry notes, this full-bodied, creamy-textured sexpot is rich and concentrated, with just enough spice to keep the palate engaged through the long, velvety finish.
2017 The Gask
Sourced from two vineyards in the Eden Valley, Torbreck's 2017 The Gask combines hints of violets, blueberries and licorice on the nose. It's medium to full-bodied, with a firm, slightly dusty tannin structure and savory notes of espresso and black olive on the finish. It's distinct in style from the other Torbreck offerings, true to its place of origin.
2017 The Steading
VARIETY: 51% Grenache, 25% Shiraz, 24% Mataro
The 2017 The Steading offers consumers a mid-priced chance to sample the Torbreck style. A blend of 51% Grenache, 25% Shiraz and 24% Mataro, it matured 18 months in a large foudre. Black cherries, anise and cracked pepper all appear on the nose, while the full-bodied palate is supple and rich, marked by flavors of plum, dark chocolate and spice cake. All those elements linger harmoniously on the long, velvety finish.