2004 Torbreck "Descendant" Shiraz-Viognier Barossa Valley South Australia

SKU #1018887 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2004 Descendant, an old oak-aged blend of 92% Shiraz and 8% Viognier from a 12-year old vineyard, offers up notes of blackberries, ink, sweet truffles, and acacia flowers. There are 1,000 cases of this full-bodied, intense, rich blockbuster. It will drink well for 10-15 years. (RP)  (10/2006)

96 points James Halliday

 Almost impenetrable purple-red colour; marries elegance bordering on restraint with intense blackberry fruit and viognier lift; controlled oak, tannins and alcohol. Shiraz/Viognier. Grapes crushed onto Viognier skins.  (2/2006)

93 points Vinous

 (shiraz with 8% viognier) Deep ruby. Primary aromas of berry skin, violet, freshly roasted coffee, high-fat chocolate and cinnamon. Very fresh in the mouth, with dense but tangy flavors of cassis, blueberry, mocha and fruitcake. Impressively concentrated and focused wine. With air, this deepened in flavor but gave up nothing in finesse. Finishes sweet and quite long, with an exotic chocolate note and bright acids. (JR)  (7/2006)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Lithe, open-textured Shiraz-Viognier blend, offering pretty boysenberry flavors. Feels lighter than most Barossa Shiraz and shows the floral and peach accents of the Viognier. Not quite as seamless as previous vintages, but it has a personality of its own. (HS)  (10/2006)

K&L Notes

This single vineyard Shiraz-Viognier expresses tar and black olive, offset wonderfully by the jasmine and apricot aromatics of viognier. The blend is 92% shiraz and 8% viognier grown in Marananga from cuttings taken from old vines in the RunRig Vineyard (hence the name of this powerful red). The varieties are co-fermented and the wine is matured for 18 months in 2 1/2 year old French barrels that had been previously used for RunRig.


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Price: $89.99
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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.