2017 Torbreck The Factor Shiraz Barossa Valley Australia

  • Old Vine Single Vineyard Shiraz
  • One of Australia's Top Estates
  • "This is a Big Mother! It will be Long-Lived" ~therealreview.com
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About The Wine

Since 1994, Pete Kight has been a pioneer in the Barossa Valley and has successfully highlighted the world-class quality of Shiraz in the area.Since 2008, the winery has been producing wines from grapes that are 100% grown on the estate. Torbreck has access to unique low-yielding, century-plus old vine vineyards that produce some of the best wines in Australia.

Torbreck wines are neither fined nor filtered and barrel aging varies as needed.

The manager on a highland estate is referred to as The Factor. Many of Torbreck's wine names reference a Scottish heritage. Many of these vineyards were planted in the 19th century and because of South Australia’s far-sighted quarantine policy, were not affected by the phylloxera outbreak that ravaged the vineyards of the world in the 1880s. They survive on their own roots more than a century later as clonal time capsules. The reputation of the Barossa as the preeminent red wine growing region of Australia rests firmly on wines such as this.

Aging:24 months in French oak (40% new)

Tasting Notes: 100% Syrah. Smoke-tinged, savory, black and red berries, wild herbs, incense and exotic spices. This is a must-try wine for the Aussie wine lover.


A blend of parcels that sees a 24-month elevage in barriques and has Western Barossa black fruit, as well as a strong, savory, tarry thread, spiced earth, and orange peel. Very velvety tannins, packed with rich dark fruit that drive so so long. The cooler vintage has dialed this in nicely. So much concentrated flavor. Seamless texture. Excellent length. A great Factor! Drink or hold.~96 James Suckling

Aged in 50% new oak, Tobreck's 2017 The Factor boasts hickory-like smoky aromas, plus plum and blackberry fruit. It's full-bodied and firmly built, finishing with hints of chocolate, licorice, and dusty tannins. Give it another 2-3 years in the cellar, then drink it over the next decade and a half.

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 was 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. ~95 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Opaque ruby. Smoke-tinged black and blue fruit, incense, cola, and roasted coffee aromas are sharpened by a building suggestions of exotic, pepper spices. Deeply concentrated yet lithe on the palate, offering intense cassis, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that turn sweeter on the back half. Finishes with excellent clarity, mounting tannins, and a strong, spicy thrust, leaving resonating vanilla and mocha notes behind. ~94 Vinous Media

Deep, dark red/purple colour and a bouquet of black fruits and graphite, dark chocolate and hints of creosote. It’s a big, bold, ballsy wine with guts and grip, and not as elegantly-structured as RunRig, the finish slightly chewy and warm from the alcohol. This is a big mother! It will be long lived. ~94 Therealreview.com

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