100 points - limited
Low yielding, old and dry grown Barossa Valley vines are the cornerstone of Torbreck where traditional, manual winemaking methods and minimal intervention are combined to produce world class wines. One of the best Shiraz from Australia we've ever tasted!
98 Points Robert Parker: "As usual, the 2017 RunRig is approximately 2% Viognier. It spent almost 30 months in oak, 40% of which was new. Hints of peach or apricot appear on the nose, alongside notes of hickory smoke, cherries and baking spices. It's full-bodied and concentrated but supple and silky enough to seem lighter in the mouth, showing tremendous length and elegance on the finish, where it adds nuances of cinnamon and cocoa...
...I managed to squeeze in a couple of vineyard visits during my afternoon visit with the Torbreck team of Ian Hongell (winemaker) and Nigel Blieschke (viticulturist). At the Hillside Vineyard in Lyndoch, the core is an 1850 planting of Shiraz, but there are additional blocks amounting to 100 acres of the 300-acre property. The Hillside Grenache comes from a parcel planted in 1948. The dry-grown Laird Vineyard is the other Torbreck jewel. Originally planted in 1958 and purchased by Torbreck in 2013, this five-acre site in Marananga provides fruit for Torbreck's top bottling. Contrary to some claims, Hongell offered this simple retort as we looked over the year's young shoots, "It's not dead." Looking at the current lineup, there are a couple of gaps: in 2016, neither the Les Amis nor the Pict were bottled because they were smoke-tainted, according to Hongell. The 2017 was a cooler year, offering more perfume and spice, said Hongell. "We're very pleased with the power we've been able to build into these wines. We're absolutely in love with what we're doing, especially in the vineyards," he concluded."
A fantastic red from Bedrock winemaker Morgan-Twain Peterson, one of the hottest young winemakers in California.
90 Points Robert Parker "Best Buy": "A Mediterranean blend of Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and assorted mixed blacks fermented with native yeasts and aged in primarily neutral containers (15% in new French oak), it is a California version of a high-class Cotes du Rhone. Lots of berry fruit intermixed with lavender, pepper and meaty black cherry and black currant flavors emerge from this satisfying, round, expansive, generous red. An outstanding, killer value that should provide pleasure over the next 1-2 years. If there is a better value in California wine, I would like to know about it."
....Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met, and it’s not just because he grew up the son of a famous producer. Making wines at this level requires talent, passion, hard work and a great palate, none of which is easily inherited. Along with Mike Officer of Carlisle, Twain-Peterson is on a mission to rediscover what he calls California’s old-vine “heritage” vineyards. These historic sites planted by California’s early immigrants, often home to unknown field blends, remain some of the most fascinating vineyards in California. Officer and Twain-Peterson were tired of seeing these old sites gobbled up by industrial-scale wineries, so they decided to do something about it. Bravo."
New York Times: "This red blend is a perpetually excellent value from Bedrock Wine Company which makes a wide variety of terrific, unmanipulated wines from old California vineyards. The array of groups includes zinfandel, carignan, syrah and petite sirah, and vintages are mixed as well, a welcome tactic. The result is an easygoing, lively wine that is delicious and versatile. Too often, inexpensive California reds are inflated with oak flavorings and other enhancements intended to imitate the characteristics of more expensive wines. Not this one, and it makes you think about how good these humble wines could be if other producers would permit them the dignity of authenticity."
An amazing value from the South of France - hurry!
95 Points Decanter: "60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish. *Gold Medal Winner Decanter Asia Wine Awards.*
Robert Parker: "A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, the Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit is a screaming value. If offers bold black cherry and blueberry fruit aromas, lively fruit flavors, silky tannins and a crisp, lengthy mocha-tinged finish. Drink this fun, bouncy little wine over the next couple of years."