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2013 Torbreck The Laird Shiraz
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- Cellar 10 - 15 years (2028-2033)
- ABV 15%
- Closure: Cork
In Scottish terminology, ‘The Laird’ refers to the Lord of the Manor. This single vineyard Shiraz comes from an old vineyard in Marananga planted in 1958, a plot which remains the focus of envy amongst many of the region's winemakers. Previously owned and operated by the legendary Malcolm Seppelt, the vineyard was purchased by Torbreck in 2014 and is perfectly sited with the dry grown, original Barossa clone vines facing south east. The berries are typically small and concentrated and usually harvested in two separate passes.
The French oak selected for the maturation of this wine is considered to be some of the finest in the world. Referred to as Dominique Laurent's 'Magic Casks', the wood is selected from the incredibly tiny and highly prized Troncais forest. The staves are hand split in the French tradition and twice as thick as machine split staves. As a result of the extra thickness the barrels are able to sustain an extended maturation process due to the tighter porosity that comes with the extra wood. Maturation took place in the new hand crafted French oak barriques for a period of 36 months. The barrels were stored in their own temperature controlled, ancient stone shed. In short, no expense has been spared.
Vintage Conditions: 2013 will be remembered in the Barossa as the driest, earliest and quickest vintage in memory. Spring rainfall was well below average and a relatively volatile flowering period resulting in a low fruit set coming into the summer months. Vintage took place a month earlier than 2012 with most vineyards picked by the end of March – the earliest finish to vintage in living memory. Yields were generally below average but the overall quality was excellent, providing rich colour along with a near perfect balance of acidity and tannin.
Astounding depth of colour featuring a totally impenetrable inky black core with a very deep dark red black hue. Intoxicating the olfactory senses are intense aromatics of black plum, liquorice, dark chocolate and ripe blackberries over toasty vanillin oak, mocha, boot polish and spice. The power, out of this world richness and liqueur like concentration of this blockbuster Shiraz has to be tasted to be believed with flavours of succulent ripe blackberries, liquorice and black cherries exploding across the taste buds. Elements of dark chocolate, toasty vanillin cedar, subtle earth and spicy pepper ensue. There’s incredible volume and weight to the extraordinarily decadent fruit which is carried by a firm muscly tannin structure. Devastating power with a long mesmerising finish of ripe blackberries, liquorice, black cherries, dark plums, toasty vanillin oak, earthy dark chocolate and spicy pepper.
Cellar 10-15 years.
There's no denying the power and concentration of Torbreck's 2013 The Laird. The fruit is impressive, the oak luxurious, the texture velvety, yet I can't help but wonder if it needs to spend that extra time in barrel. Complex notes of baking spices, licorice and pepper add nuance to the Christmas-cake flavors and somehow emerge savory on the long finish. It's a wonderful wine, but would I rather have three bottles of RunRig? Without question. Drink 2020-2030.
Joe Czerwinski – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate