Torbreck Vintners was created with the aim of building one of the finest wine estates in the world. The vision is to pay homage to the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, home to some of the oldest vines on the planet.
This single vineyard Shiraz comes from Malcolm and Joylene Seppelt's old Gnadenfrei vineyard in the sub-region of Marananga in the Barossa Valley. This vineyard is perfect in every way. It is South East facing, completely dry grown, meticulously hand tended, farmed by a grower with a lifetime's experience, on typical Western Barossa soil - brown loam over red clay over limestone - and planted with one of the original Barossa clones. However, this vineyard also has an "X factor" which gives the wine an extra something that cannot be fully explained. The resulting small, concentrated berries produced consistently on the property make it the envy of all the winemakers in the valley.
Powerful yet refined aromas of rich dark fruits such as satsuma plum, blackberry and mulberry fill the bouquet complimented by cacao bean and roast espresso. Alluring spices such as cinnamon and liquorice balanced by savoury notes of wet earth and native eucalypt combine with added complexities. The palate possesses a rich concentration, balanced by round and soft tannins and enveloping mouthfeel. The minute long flavours linger long after the wine has been swallowed. Held together with a tight tannin profile and generous yet proportionate oak and balanced acidity, the 2016 shows all the opulence and elegance of previous Laird’s, but with a complexity, precision and prominence that will make sure it ages gracefully for the next 30 - 50 years.
Torbreck's 2016 The Laird is just being released after its extended time in barrel. I'm still unconvinced by the élevage, as the wood seems to have the upper hand, marking the nose with scents of smoke, cedar, menthol and baking spices. Yes, there's ample underlying fruit—mulberries and Italian plums—but it all takes on a slightly dessert-like cast that's only partially balanced by lingering hints of black olives, licorice and caramelized meat on the extended finish. Give this another few years in bottle so the oak-imparted notes further meld with the fruit and form a more complete, harmonious whole. Date: July 2021; Drink: 2023-2040; Rating: 98 Points; Joe Czerwinski; Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
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