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Torbreck Descendant Shiraz 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
  • RP93
  • JH90
15% ABV
  • JS95
  • RP90
  • WS96
  • JH96
  • W&S91
  • RP97
  • WS93
  • D93
  • JH95
  • JS92
  • WS90
  • RP97
  • JH96
  • TP94
  • WS93
  • RP94
  • WE94
  • JH93
  • WS90
  • RP95
  • RP97
  • WE95
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2008 Descendant is another impressive release of this wine, the color making that immediately apparent; completely black/purple with healthy, vibrant magenta hues. A pure, wild, powerful nose of blackberry and tar is complimented by a gentle floral lift of lavender and violets. Full-bodied with great concentration, silky tannins and perfectly judged extract, this vigorous and suave young wine has a long, long future ahead of it.

Blend: 92% Shiraz, 8% Viognier

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet colored with a touch of purple, the 2008 The Descendent (Shiraz blended with a little Viognier) offers aromas of warm blackberry preserves, stewed plums, prunes, mulberries and coffee underlying hints of black olives and soy. Big, powerful and opulently fruited in the full bodied mouth, it’s packed with dried fruit and savory flavors and well supported by a medium level of velvety tannins and crisp acid. It finishes long and spicy.
JH 90
Australian Wine Companion
Impenetrable in colour and character, with lashings of black fruit, accentuated by dried apricot and cinnamon; the palate is dense and incredibly ripe, even overstepping the mark, yet the finish remains relatively fresh and fragrant.
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Torbreck, Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
2008 Descendant Shiraz
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.

Barossa Valley

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Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe.

The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes.

Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as 1860. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, purple juice.


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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

CHMTRB3401107_2008 Item# 123621