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