Complex and Balanced Aussie Shiraz Showing Beautifully With Age

Today’s Story: Torbreck Vintners

Torbreck Vintners was established in 1994 by David Powell in Marananga of the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Torbreck began by sharecropping fruit from an abandoned dry-grown and old vine vineyard, though overtime they did purchase estate vineyards but continue to source from growers to fill out the portfolio of wines. Torbreck specializes in Shiraz, however they produce wines with other Rhône varieties including Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne. Many of Torbreck’s source vineyards are generations old, with some of the vines producing fruit for their RunRig bottling 120-160 years old. Yields are painfully low, resulting in wines that are very complex and representative of their terroir. Winemaking is characterized by minimal intervention, and the Torbreck team views themselves as custodians rather than heavy-handers in the cellar. The wines age in barrel for as long as they deem fit to allow for the wine’s best expression, and all bottling is accomplished unfined and unfiltered. Each vintage, roughly 70,000 cases are produced.

I previously reviewed the 2019 Woodcutter’s Semillon from Torbreck.

Today’s Wine: 2003 RunRig

95% Shiraz, 5% Viognier; 14.5% ABV

The 2003 RunRig is medium to deep ruby in color, not really showing signs of its age. I decanted this for sediment and drank it about an hour later. The aromas are of pronounced intensity, with the nose showcasing notes of plum, blueberry, blackberry, violets, licorice, tobacco, forest floor, mushroom, charred green herbs, black olive, wet rock, and a hint of smoke. Meanwhile the flavors are also of pronounced intensity and the palate offers up notes of blueberry, spiced plum, blackberry, black cherry, violet, anise, smoked meat, earthy mushroom, scorched earth, charred herbs, and black olive. This dry red is medium- to full-bodied with medium acidity, medium (+) but fine-grained tannin, high alcohol, and a long finish. An outstanding wine that is drinking beautifully right now.

Price: $200. While this bottle is pricey, I think it is absolutely worth the price. At its current stage the wine is incredibly deep, complex, well-balanced, and structurally sound. The finish goes on and on and we caught this in the perfect window.