Torbreck – the evolution of Barossa’s finest

Torbreck – the evolution of Barossa’s finest Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines 2018-2019

There’s a lot of wine made these days which is all about drink now and being ready early … I think about those nights drinking wines from the ’50s and ’60s (ref: AFR article w/ Max Allen) and I think that we have to learn to be patient again; to learn that some wines aren’t for now, and that’s the point: they’re something we want to put away as treasures for later.

– Ian Hongell, Chief Winemaker Torbreck


2015 RunRig – 19.5 / 20

I tasted 2015 RunRig shortly after it was bottled and it looked incredible. Totally alive and exquisitely wild, with vibrancy and lift propelling this wine forwards, it is an awesome RunRig. Red fruit fleetingly appears in among the black and the tannins are heroic. Superstar winemaker Ian Hongell reported that it was one of the most complex blending exercises that he has ever done. The oak is amazing and the power is perfectly controlled and measured. It is not as powerful or as raucous as previous vintages and this level of restraint is further enhanced by the vibrancy and completeness found throughout the experience. The tannin profile alone is terrific. This is a landmark wine for Torbreck and like the others in this piece, it shows a glimpse of the next chapter for this imperious winery. Needless to say it gained a nosebleed 19.5/20 in my notes.

– Matthew Jukes, ‘2018/19 100 Best Australian Wines’

2015 The Factor – 19 / 20

This is one of a number of wines in this report which scores a hefty 19/20 in my notes. I have no doubt that this is one of the most awesome Factors ever released and I have a feeling that we will see even more progress made by The Factor in years to come. This is such a complex and rewarding wine it is shocking. The heady, garrigue perfume and calibre of oak involved is off the charts. Layer upon layer of decadent spice and toast coat the palate and these savoury, mouth-watering flavours are enrobed in luxurious red and black fruit. This wine marks a conscious move towards Torbreck reds being assembled with more tension and control, too, and so unlike the monolithic wines of the past I think that we are seeing the evolution period for this iconic Barossa brand that will bring in class and distinction to the already imposing structure of these legendary red wines.

– Matthew Jukes, ‘2018/19 100 Best Australian Wines’

2016 Cuvée Juveniles – 18 / 20

A 75% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre and 7% Shiraz blend and it is more profound and more Grenache-dominant than any other Juves I can remember. There is earth, soot, black olive and spice in abundance here and it is darker and less juicy than ever but in spite of this, it is also eminently approachable with fine tannins and no oak to confuse the picture. In short, this is a simply stunning wine.

– Matthew Jukes, ‘2018/19 100 Best Australian Wines’

And a final special mention. If you are fortunate to get your hands on The Laird 2013, you will find it “an outstanding vintage in the inky, glass-staining, super-concentrated style, loaded with mocha, coffee and chocolate aromas. It’s at least a 20-year wine.” – Huon Hooke, The Real Review. With “the fruit impressive, the oak luxurious, the texture velvety” – Joe Czerwinski, The Wine Advocate. “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.” – Max Allen, Financial Review.

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