Inky black. Concentrated aromas of dark berries, warm leather and mocha bound from the glass. Immense and powerful showing deep-set, compact blackberry fruit underpinned by abundant, supple tannins. Dense yet silky and opulent in every sense of the word. Drink 2015-2030
The Laird is Powell’s new baby, coming from a single 5 acre / 2 hectare vineyard of Shiraz in the Marananga sub-region planted in the 1960s that recently became available for contracting. This is a very different wine from Run Rig. What is most striking about it is the combination of power and elegance in this first vintage, coming from a very good year in the Barossa. Matured for 3 years in new Dominique Laurent “Magic Casks” (Troncais French oak barriques with thicker staves designed for the long aging of Shiraz), 2005 The Laird gives a deep garnet color and pronounced nose that shows savory and spice notes over the fruit, with aromas of hung meat, Peking duck, fertile loam, underbrush, tree bark, anise, cumin seed, menthol, dried roses and lavender over warm black cherries, crush blackberries and fruit cake. The tight-knit, full-bodied palate is very fine with a high level of silt-like tannins and crisp acid running through the concentrated fruit and savory flavors, finishing very long with lingering earth and spice notes. At 14.8% declared alcohol, this is by no means one of the biggest wines in the Barossa, but it is most certainly one of the best. It’s an absolute joy to drink now but it is recommended readers give it 4-5 years more in bottle to soften and marry and enjoy it to 2030+.
100 points, Wine Advocate (December 2010)
"Deep red purple, very good colour. Pungent pruney, raisiny, spicy and oaky aromas; charred timber, shrivelled fruit character, but also bright and not dead-fruited. Palate is very concentrated, powerful, intense and massive. Very rich, deep fruit-sweet middle; lashings of tannin, dense and almost thick/chewy, with incredible length. Not overly alcoholic. Very impressive wine. Great flavour and drive. Hard to argue with the wine's quality and character; value for money is another matter."
95 points, The Real Review (August 2010)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
David Powell, a former lumberjack turned winemaker, established Torbreck in 1994. Since then, the tiny winery operation has grown exponentially, buoyed by the success of its highly opulent and perfumed wines. Torbreck sources fruit from a myriad of dry grown low-yielding vineyards located on the western ridge of the Barossa Valley and as far south as the Jacob’s Creek area. These include established century-old vineyards. It either share-farms or has full vineyard management control, ensuring optimum fruit quality, ripeness and flavour development. The wines are batch vinified in open fermenters and vinification incorporates a palette of winemaking options including pre-fermentation cold soak, extended maceration, partial whole bunch fermentation, warm and cooler ferment regimes and regular pumping over.