2005 Torbreck "Descendant" Barossa Valley Shiraz

SKU #1034460 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2005 Descendant is composed of 92% Shiraz and 8% Viognier which are co-fermented. The fruit is sourced from a relatively young vineyard in Marananga planted with 11-year-old cuttings from the Run Rig vineyards and aged for 18 months in 2.5-year-old French barrels previously used for Run Rig. Opaque purple, with glass-coating glycerin, it offers up a complex array of lavender, violets, blueberry, blackberry, and fresh road tar. Full-bodied, on the palate the wine has great concentration with a noticeable uplift from the Viognier, gobs of spicy black fruits, opulence, and well-concealed tannins which will carry this wine for 10-15 years of further evolution. Drink it through 2030.  (10/2007)

96 points James Halliday

 Immaculate structure, texture and balance; likewise black-fruited shiraz with a subliminal viognier twist, plus licorice and spice; tannins ripe and perfectly weighted.  (8/2007)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 Unlike most of the Torbreck wines, this is single-vineyard Shiraz, co-fermented with a small proportion of Viognier, then aged in barrels previously used for RunRig. Hints of apricot and bacon fat impart beautiful nuance to the blackberry fruit. This is slightly firmer than Torbreck’s other reds, worth cellaring for five years or so, then drinking over the next 15.  (11/2007)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Finely honed, focused and brilliant in flavor, with that distinct twang of fruity spice from Viognier adding a welcome lift to the dark berry, sloe plum and dried apricot flavors that linger expressively on the long finish. Shiraz and Viognier. Best from 2006 through 2015. 800 cases made.  (6/2005)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (92% shiraz with 8% viognier) Bright purple. Intensely spicy aromas of black raspberry, cherry, cocoa powder and Asian spices. Inky and youthfully brooding, with powerful dark berry liqueur flavors, velvety tannins and a building impression of graphite. Tightens with air but not at the expense of its wonderfully lush, deeply concentrated fruit and sexy spices.  (7/2007)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "This single vineyard wine, located next to our winery block on Roennfeldt Road, was planted by Dave Powell in 1994 with cuttings off old RunRig vineyards - some of the oldest genetic material in Australia. The Barossa's first co-fermented Shiraz/Viognier, Descendant has been joined by many more in the last couple of years - a testament to its success. Shiraz is crushed straight on top of Viognier, which has been lightly pressed for RunRig. The blend of fruit is then co-fermented and later the wine is matured for 18 months in barrels that had been previously used for RunRig. The deep red clay soils in this vineyard produce fruit which is very savory, textured and rich, a satin-like texture and a glorious perfume. Of all the Torbreck releases this is one that really needs patience. Its immediate charm can be enjoyed upon release with a few hours breathing, but after the first 6 months, the rest should be locked away for at least 5 years."

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Price: $84.99
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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.
Sub-Region:

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5