2018 Torbreck Descendant
A blend of 92% Shiraz and 8% Viognier co-fermented and matured for 20 months in second fill French oak barriques previously used for Run Rig.
Impenetrable pitch black colour with an equally deep dark red black hue. Exuberantly scented, wafts of blackberry, dark plum and liquorice sail out the glass with dark chocolate, vanillin oak, a faint whiff of apricot, light scorched earth and spice in hot pursuit. Flamboyant and opulent, the densely textured palate is engulfed with rich dark plum, liquorice and blackberry fruits which are tempered by traces of spicy apricot. Velvet smooth yet structural tannins. Enormously sized and boasting magnificent power, elements of lightly smoked vanillin oak, fennel and pepper flow onto an exceptionally long and lavish aftertaste.
Drink over the next 6-8 years.
Shiraz co-fermented with 8% viognier, this has aromas of spiced blackberries and dark plums with chocolate notes, too. The palate has a round, silky feel with a mouthful of spicy dark-plum flavors, wrapped around long, even tannins. Impressive now, but even better in five years.
What a lush, charming, wonderfully drinkable wine. The 2018 Descendant, made by fermenting Shiraz on Viognier skins, is a terrific effort, starting from its intriguing spicy, peppery aromas. Those notes are seamlessly intertwined with impressively ripe fruit scents evocative of blueberries and cherries, while the full-bodied palate is plush, creamy and supple without being unstructured or overblown. Softly dusty tannins ground the finish, lending a sense of savory balance to this beauty. Descendent is one of my favorite Torbreck bottlings year after year, and this may be the best one yet. Drink 2021-2035.
Joe Czerwinski - Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate