Torbreck RunRig (torn label) 2002
The RunRig is a structured, muscular wine with phenomenal density, dry vintage port-like concentration, and magnificent notes of smoke, blackberries, cassis, leather and coffee. A hint of viognier’s sweet marmalade character comes through as the wine sits in the glass.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2002 Run Rig (97% Shiraz and 3% Viognier aged in 100% new French oak) represents the essence of old vine Barossa fruit. Extraordinarily opulent and rich, but playing it closer to the vest than the 2001, it gets my nod as one of the most remarkable wines made in either the Southern or Northern Hemisphere. An inky/purple color is accompanied by a sumptuous bouquet of apricots, honeysuckle, black raspberries, blackberries, licorice, and a hint of roasted meats. The wood has been soaked up by the wine’s extraordinary concentration.
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.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in the Barossa zone of South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers work diligently to ensure grapes reach the perfect levels of phenolic ripeness.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Shiraz on its own or Rhône Blends. Often Shiraz and Cabernet partner up for plump and powerful reds.
While much less prevalent, light-skinned varieties such as Riesling, Viognier or Semillon produce vibrant Barossa Valley whites.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”