2002 Torbreck "Run Rig" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia

SKU #1012913 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. The wood has been soaked up by the wine’s extraordinary concentration. Fashioned from four sectors of Barossa (Maranaga, Koonunga Hill, Moppa, and Greenock), it spent 30 months in primarily new oak, and was bottled without fining or filtration. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020+. (RP)  (10/2005)

95 points James Halliday

 Medium-bodied; fragrant, elegant style with lifted aromatics and a finely drawn, structured and balanced palate; smoky blackberry fruit with just a hint of apricot; fine, long tannins. High quality cork. (Tasted 3/2005)  (7/2011)

94 points Vinous

 (includes 3% viognier) Saturated, inky, opaque ruby. A ripe, roasted, porty black hole of a nose. Impossibly ripe, musky, dense aromas of dark cherry, cassis compote, blackberry confit, molasses, fruitcake, violet pastille, licorice and candied rose petal. Thick to the point of being a solid, or at least a colloid, with dense, inky, even resinous flavors of bitter chocolate, creme de mure, coffee liqueur, licorice and black cardamom, accompanied by a spice rack of accents. The finish seems to never let go, which in this case is a good thing. Sticky, palate-staining and amazingly dense, a monument to this style of syrah. (JR)  (7/2005)

Jancis Robinson

 This lauded wine is made from Shiraz vines of between 100 and 156 years old, apparently, and contains 3 per cent Viognier, right from the pioneering first vintage 1995. You can certainly smell the Viognier on the nose. The wine is incredibly full, rich and sweet with a sensation of wild purple fruit flavours and more than a hint of elderberries. Subtle it ain't, and it's still disjointed on the palate but it's amazingly persistent and vibrant. I can quite see why it has such a devoted following. 18/20 points (JR)  (7/2005)

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- 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.


- 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.

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Barossa Valley