Torbreck Descendant 2020
Torbreck Descendant 2020
Torbreck is a winery on a mission to become one of the world's great wine brands. Since 1994, they have remained committed to creating exceptional Rhone-style red and white wines that reflect the very best vineyards in Australia's famous Barossa region. Provenance is everything to them, and they believe that the Barossa is the most exciting place to make wine in the world. With a European sense of tradition, Torbreck pays tribute to the vineyards with minimal intervention, creating wines of richness, structure and length that age gracefully. The multi-generational growers, whose descendants arrived here nearly two centuries ago, are the backbone of Torbreck's winemaking aspirations. They work in partnership with the people of the Barossa who grow their fruit, always aiming to get the very best out of their vineyard sites. At Torbreck, they constantly seek to understand the difference between all of these special places in the Barossa and how this combination of soil, climate and farming experience is reflected in unique grape flavors. They are simply custodians, enhancing the innate expressiveness of the wines and enabling them to reveal over time their individual origins and personality. Torbreck is actually named after the forest near Inverness, Scotland where the winery's founder, David Powell worked as a lumberjack after completing university studies.
The winemaking style at Torbreck is meticulous and dedicated to producing exceptional wines. They use carefully selected 225-litre oak barriques for maturation, known as Dominique Laurent 'Magic Casks'. The oak is personally harvested from Forêt de Tronçais in Allier, and the staves are aged for 48 to 54 months at an exposed location for maximum seasoning. The staves are then hand-made into barrels and heated over three differing flames for several hours, resulting in a gentle toast due to the remarkable density of the wood. Torbreck's winemaking style reflects their commitment to producing exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Barossa region.
The Descendant Vineyard is the crown jewel of Torbreck, located in the small yet vibrant hamlet of Marananga, which is nestled between Stonewell and Greenock and adjacent to Seppetlsfield. Marananga has become a sanctuary for producing some of the finest red wine in the Barossa Valley. Its unique terroir produces deeply coloured red wines that are renowned for their natural balance and formidable structure. The Descendant Vineyard is particularly special to Torbreck, as it was the original block of the estate and remains home to their winery and cellar door. The vineyard was established on a traditional mixed farm in 1993, and it has been producing exceptional grapes ever since. Planted with cuttings from ancient Barossa Shiraz vines that produce the iconic RunRig wine, the Descendant Vineyard is home to the true descendants of RunRig. Mataro, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne vines were later added, contributing to the vineyard's diverse range of varietals. In 2018, the vineyard even established a traditional bush vine Grenache vineyard, adding another important dimension to the vineyard's offerings. Marananga's terroir provides the Descendant Vineyard with great substance and energy, which results in grapes that are singular in their dimension. These grapes are so exceptional that they warrant single vineyard bottlings, something that Torbreck is immensely proud of.
The Torbreck Descendant 2020 is intensely perfumed, with a nose of dark berries and hints of floral notes. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, with rich and concentrated flavors of black cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant layered with subtle hints of white pepper, leather and tobacco. The Viognier contributes a silky texture and a touch of brightness to the wine, balancing the rich and bold flavors of Shiraz. The tannins are firm and well-structured, providing an excellent framework for the long and satisfying finish. Overall, the Torbreck Descendant 2020 is an exceptional vintage that showcases the winemaker's skill and the unique terroir of the Barossa Valley. This wine will continue to develop complexity over the next 15-20 years and promises to be a true collector's item.
The Descendant is a Shiraz Viognier blend, co-fermented. This year, the 2020 Descendant comprises 91% Shiraz and 9% Viognier; the vineyard is in Marananga and was planted in 1994, from cuttings form the RunRig vineyard. It matured for 20 months in second fill French oak barriques, previously used for the RunRig. In every way (price, vineyard source, cepage, maturation), this wine is a baby RunRig, although there remain some stylistic differences in the mouth. For one thing, this 2020 Descendant has been matured (as mentioned) in older oak, so the imprint of oak flavors is more subtle. While there is no denying that the texture has an extreme slick and polish (it is almost thick in the mouth, truly plush) from the high percentage of Viognier, the wine is pure and glossy and exuberantly fruit driven. The tannins, which exist very much within the wine, are savory and exotically spiced: star anise, clove, hints of cardamom, licorice, red dirt and iodine. This is very good, luxurious, enveloping, sybaritic, with lots going on. - Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate, 96+ Points
The Finer Details
Style - Red Wine
Varietal - Shiraz 91%, Viognier 9%
Country - Australia
Region - Barossa, South Australia
Vintage - 2020
Bottle Size - 750ml
ABV - 15%