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Torbreck Descendant Shiraz 2012

Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
  • RP97
  • WS93
  • D93
15% ABV
  • JS95
  • RP90
  • WS96
  • JH96
  • W&S91
  • JH95
  • JS92
  • WS90
  • RP97
  • JH96
  • TP94
  • WS93
  • RP93
  • JH90
  • RP94
  • WE94
  • JH93
  • WS90
  • RP95
  • RP97
  • WE95
  • RP98
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Immediately impressive the sublime bouquet is reminiscent of violet, lavender and spice. Lavish layers of dense blueberry fruit is perfectly interwoven with nuances of cinnamon, tar, exotic spice, pepper and dark cherry. Full-bodied with great concentration, and silky tannins this suave wine has impeccable balance and a long future ahead of it.

Blend: 92% Shiraz & 8% Viognier

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2012 Descendent offers gorgeously pure notes of violets, vanilla and cinnamon stick over a core of black cherry, blackberry and wild blueberry notes plus and hint of cloves. Full-bodied, concentrated and built like a brick house, the spectrum of flavors, ripe, abundant tannins, clever balance and epically long finish make this a Descendent that rivals its forefather.
Rating: 97+
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Broad and spicy, with black pepper and licorice notes surrounding a taut core of blackberry and plum flavors that keep singing on the expressive finish. Has presence and depth, coming up short on weight but finishing with intensity. Shiraz and Viognier. Best from 2017 through 2025.
D 93
This, the Barossa’s first Shiraz Viognier blend, is so-called because it derives from a single vineyard next to the winery planted to cuttings from old Runrig vineyards in 1994. Though it does not have the depth of Runrig, the young vines echo the flamboyance and purity of Runrig’s fruit. Descendant is creamy and seductive, with a velvety palate of crushed raspberry fruit, silky smooth tannins and mochaccino oak.
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Torbreck, Barossa Valley, Barossa, Australia
Banner image for winery header
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 deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

PBC8291049_2012 Item# 144484