Torbreck 'RunRig' Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014
Grape Varietal: 100% Shiraz
Growing Region: Barossa Valley - South Australia
Chief Winemaker: Ian Hongell* - *(Joined in 2017)
5 Stars ★★★★★
It has been a little over 2 years since I was last in the Barossa, enjoying a glass of Torbreck wine under the intense south Australian sun and walking amongst some of the oldest bush vines in the world, many being share-farmed by Torbreck. From the beginning - the ‘RunRig’ has taken its inspiration from the well-structured wines crafted from the old vines clinging to the steep slopes of the Northern Rhône Valley Appellation of Côte Rôtie.
The ‘RunRig’ is sourced from ancient dry grown Barossa Shiraz vineyards and blended with touch of Viognier, complementing the strengths and complex characters of these individual parcels, whilst giving the resulting wine a traditional touch and defining end note.
This 2014 ‘RunRig’ like its predecessors showcases self-assured richness, and has long held a reputation as a concentrated wine, that with time reveals a quality able to stand side-by-side with the world’s most generous and age worthy wines.
Just to give this 2014 vintage some context, Craig Isbel (was the head-winemaker)* and is still consulting to Torbreck as he develops his own new project - but since 2017 Ian Hongell has taken over the reins.
The 2014 vintage in Barossa experienced a slightly cooler period in mid-February, resulting in a longer ripening period. These ancient vines are renowned for their low yields - providing fruit with excellent concentration, depth and length of flavour.
This 2014 ‘RunRig’ is crafted from a blend Shiraz and Viognier and was matured in a combination of new and old French barriques for a period of 30 months. As the following 6 unique parcels achieved ideal ripeness, (i.e. Lyndoch, Rowland Flat, Seppeltsfield, Greenock, Moppa, Ebenezer). As the first fruit parcel came into the winery on the 7th March through to the last parcel on the 3rd April. The bunches were gently de-stemmed into wooden and concrete open top fermenters where they were carefully hand-plunged for 6 to 7 days. After basket pressing the wine was then transferred directly into new (42%), two and three-year-old French oak barriques to complete a natural malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked after 6 months and left on fine lees throughout maturation to enhance palate texture. After around 30 months, the Shiraz components were tasted and blended - and then another tasting was conducted to determine the percentage of Viognier added to the final blend.
• As you pour this wine, a deep garnet-purple colour will fill your glass. This ‘RunRig’ is far from shy on the nose, delivering intense dark forest fruits, blackberries, sandalwood, cardamom, black olives, cassis, dried herbs and spices.
An engaging and complex palate has well defined and elegant layers or dark fruits, clove and liquorice all interwoven with hints of dried spices and smoky vanillin oak. There is no doubt this is a full-bodied red wine, with layers and diverse dark fruit characters that evolve in the glass with savoury-earthy notes, red-pepper and ground coffee are all nicely balanced and becoming more persistent and lingering on the long finish. The 2014 ‘RunRig’ will certainly reward those with patience, with the potential to cellar for another 15 years.
This 2014 Torbreck 'RunRig' Barossa Shiraz has 15.5% Alc./vol. If opened in the next 18-24 months decant for 45-50 minutes and serve in a generous shaped glass at 16°-18°C.
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 13/08/18)
With medium decanting, approachable this season; though will appreciate another 3-4 years and will repay and age nicely for another 12 - 15 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with lamb shanks in a red wine jus, slow cooked prime red meats, rich pasta dishes and earthy vegetarian cuisine, plus aged hard cheeses - enjoy.