Torbreck has been on a quest to achieve perfection in winemaking in the Barossa Valley for three decades. Several of the wines have in fact, achieved 100 pt "perfect" scores from Robert Parker and the Wine Advocate over the years. Many of the wine consistently rate 95+.
This exceptional single vineyard Grenache comes from the most southerly owned Torbreck vineyard in the Barossa Valley, the Hillside vineyard. Located just north of the township of Lyndoch on the gentle westerly facing high slopes, this historic property was one of the very first settled in the 1830's. Acquired by Torbreck in 2002 its ancient buildings and vineyards are being brought slowly back to life.
The soil composition comprises of mostly dark red clay scattered with shale, quartzite and ironstone. These dry grown bush vines are always low yielding and consistently produce outstanding fruit. This unique parcel has all the bright, opulent fruit characteristics that one looks for in dry farmed Grenache combined with a seamless tannin profile due to a partial whole bunch fermentation. The rich, luxuriant fruit is further enhanced by barrel maturation in a French oak Foudre barrels, which perfectly balances the wine style.
Torbreck, under chief winemaker Ian Hongell, continues to go from strength to strength. I recently tasted through this lineup of wines scheduled for March 2019 release and came away believing that the wines have never been better. That's not to slight any of his predecessors, just that with his fresh perspective, additional investments in renovating and developing vineyards (viticulturist Nigel Blieschke deserves a lot of that credit) and a renewed commitment to excellence, even the inexpensive cuvées are looking impressive. Having seen a few barrel samples of the higher-end 2018s, I can hardly wait for my next trip to the Barossa.
Bright cherry and raspberry fruit marks the nose of Torbreck's 2016 Hillside Vineyard Grenache. The oak signature is modest, with fruit and dried spices (cinnamon, allspice and clove) taking the lead in this full-bodied but delicate, nimble wine. The tannins have a silky feel, lingering on the finish, where they add savory nuance. ~93WA
From a small block of bush vines planted in 1949, this Grenache is ultrapolished while also being hugely characterful. It leads with a nose of brambly fruit and orange peel, garrigue-like herbs and spices, citrus blossoms and sandalwood. The fruit on the palate is tangy (the citrus note on display) and wound tightly with fine talc-like tannins and buoyed by bright acidity. This is drinking nicely now but could cellar until 2027. ~93WE
A very bold, fleshy and plum-driven grenache from 1949 plantings near Lyndoch in the south of the Barossa Valley. There’s attractive depth and freshness that match up with the sturdy tannins. Drink or hold. ~92JS
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