I recently attended this new release tasting for Torbreck at North Sydney Cellars. I am generally a fan of David Powell’s wines, but one of the big surprises for me on the night was the quality of the two white wines on offer, as I have previously either disliked or been very underwhelmed by the white wines from Torbreck – on this evening they were both interesting and great to drink, especially the Steading Blanc.

Of course the big guns were the main draw to the tasting, and they all had impressive elements – my favourites being the Les Amis Grenache, Factor Shiraz, Run Rig Shiraz Viognier and Laird Shiraz. On the whole this was a very strong showing and the Torbreck portfolio seems to keep improving every time I come back to it.

  • 2011 Torbreck Woodcutter’s Roussane Viognier Marsanne – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
    46% Roussanne 41% Viognier 13% Marsanne. Floral nose with some lime and pear notes. The palate is medium bodied, hinting at richness but held back by good acidity that also gives the wine a fresh lift. 88/100

  • 2012 Torbreck The Steading Blanc – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    44% Marsanne, 32% Roussanne, 24% Viognier. Floral as well, but compared to the 2011 Woodcutters next to it, the floral notes are much more intense and wild – there is also wax, flint and apricot. The palate has excellent mouth feel and good texture, it is quite rich in style but great fruit purity is still maintained. Very impressive and I liked it more and more every time I came back to the glass. 90/100

  • 2011 Torbreck (CuvĂ©e) Juveniles – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    62% Grenache, 23% Shiraz & 15% Mataro. Pepper, violets and some meaty elements – I found the nose to have good interest, especially at this level. The palate continues the trend towards spice influence with restrained red fruit and medium length. Very good, and a pleasant experience after some much less appealing examples in previous vintages. 89/100

  • 2012 Torbreck Shiraz Woodcutter’s – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Cherry, blackcurrant, lightly sappy and light spicy aromas. Medium depth on the palate, with some decent fruit, it is good to drink but for me it’s not really exciting in any aspect. 87/100

  • 2010 Torbreck Grenache Les Amis – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Very appealing aromatics for me – dark cherry/kirsch, rose, dark chocolate and there is plenty of oak but I felt the fruit matched it for intensity. The palate is lovely, with ripe, intense fruit paired with great structure and a savoury spicy edge. Needs plenty of time to age and integrate but I think it will be excellent. 92/100

  • 2010 Torbreck Mataro Kyloe – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Aromas that could either fall on the side of brett or a character of mataro – either way it was strongly gamey, with truffle, earth and cherry notes. The palate has that meaty character to it as well, but the red fruit shows through a bit better here. Has good length to it and if it’s brett I don’t think this bottle suffered too much from it. I’ll look out for chances to try future vintages as it seems promising and the price is fair. 89/100

  • 2009 Torbreck Descendant – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    92% Shiraz, 8% Viognier. Candied apricot, smoke, tar, raspberry and some bramble aromas. I like how the palate has quite rich fruit, but it is still bright with a lovely line of acidity, and the tannin structure here seems spot on to let that vibrancy show through now while still having potential. 91/100

  • 2009 Torbreck Shiraz The Factor – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Cherry, plum, earth, tar and floral notes. Beautifully balanced, it has powerful and rich fruit, and the tannins are similarly quite big in order to provide a frame for the palate. Fantastic carry of flavours and length. Very youthful, but very very good. 92/100

  • 2010 Torbreck Run Rig – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    95% Shiraz, 5% Viognier. Very floral on the nose, with supporting blackberry, spices and dark cherry. The palate has extremely bright but powerful fruit and outstanding depth and textural elements. Comes across as more classy than would be expected with this level of concentration but it is all in balance and really delicious. 94/100

  • 2008 Torbreck Shiraz The Laird – Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
    Served next to the 2010 RunRig, this is amplified in almost every aspect. Cocoa, ground coffee, outrageously floral perfume, blackcurrant and raspberry aromas. The layers of fruit are amazingly dense but they have real definition and texture to them, saving the wine from being one dimensional. Outstanding length and a great experience to taste it. 94/100

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  1. [...] Current release Torbreck tasting notes including Les Amis, Factor, Run Rig and Laird [...]

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