Torbreck is one of Australia’s top wineries, founded by winemaker David Powell in 1994 in the Barossa Valley. The winery is named after a forest where David worked as a lumberjack in his younger years. He had discovered a few sections of well-established, dry-grown vines which the current owners couldn’t afford to maintain. With insufficient funds to buy the vineyard, David “share-farmed” them, working unpaid until the grapes could be processed and made into wine. This gave David and Torbreck access to some excellent fruit, which were crushed on his 12ha property in Marananga. A review in ‘The Wine Advocate’ in 1999 of the ‘Torbreck 1996 Runrig Shiraz Viognier’ helped to stoke consumer interest in the wines. ‘Torbreck’ wines are based around three varieties closely associated with the Barossa: Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro/ Mourvèdre. After much drama, ‘Torbreck’ is now owned by American billionaire, with changes being made such as turning the original settler’s cottage cellar door into a shiny new building, as well as being 100% in control of vinifying, maturing and packaging the wine at the estate. Fruit for all of the wines is sourced from vineyards all across the Barossa Valley, including from some of the oldest and most distinctive.
The ‘Cuvée Juveniles’ is a blend of Grenache, Mataro and Shiraz which sees no aging in oak, and thus is dominated by it’s aromas of redcurrants, cherries and violets, with a silky, medium-bodied palate. ‘The Steading Blanc’ is a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier, grapes which aren’t traditional Barossa varieties; aromas of roasted nuts and citrus dominate, with a medium-bodied texture and good acidity leading to a delightful finish. The ‘Woodcutter’s Shiraz’ is a medium-bodied, extremely fruity wine with aromas and palate of plums, cherries, raspberries and spice, and a textural mouthfeel.