"The 2003 The Factor (100% Shiraz aged 24 months in old French oak) is a riveting effort that displays the exquisite talent of David Powell. Its smoky perfume of blackberry liqueur intermixed with cherries, acacia flowers, and espresso roast is followed by a full-throttle, multi-layered palate as well as a 60-second finish. This stunning Shiraz should drink well for 10-15+ years. David Powell, unquestionably one of the world's finest wine producers, has an uncanny ability to discover old vine Barossa vineyards, and then secure long term contracts for their fruit. It is amazing that such high quality sources have not already been plucked by Australia's giant wine corporations. Torbreck's wines continue to get better and better, combining the old vine ripe fruit of Barossa with a European sensitivity to elegance and balance. The finest wines in this portfolio are pricy, but David Powell delivers some remarkable reds and whites at prices that are more than fair for the quality in the bottle." - Wine Advocate
Torbreck, founded in 1994 by David Powell, is situated at Marananga on the western ridge of the Barossa. Since that time he has produced some of the world?s finest 'Rhone varietal' wines, exclusively from Barossa fruit; this has been acknowledged by the wine press in Europe, America and Australia. The overwhelming majority of his vines are dry-grown, nearly all are 80 - 125 years old and are tended and harvested by hand.
The wines have an extraordinary combination of power, intesity, complexity and great finesse, and bearing in mind the age of the vines and the laughably low yields, no Torbreck wine could ever be accused of being heavy, cloying or over-extracted.
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The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Right next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of
Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.