(2021) Colour-wise, back to that slightly softer red like the 2012. Aromatically this is quite fruit and fragrance-driven, with cherry and blackcurrant, a hint of brighter raspberry and leafy/floral spices, the verdant touch of the Cabernet evident. In the mouth a real welterweight of fruit and substance, loads of fat textured fruit, but then dusty, fine tannins sweep through, tangy fruit-skin acidity and savoury dryness, and masses of spice into the finish. Available in-bond as a three-pack at time of review, approximate single bottle price quoted.
(2021) What a lovely wine this is from Villa Maria, from a vineyard planted in 1999, the nose is not shy of almond and oatmeal creamy oak, but the definite flinty character is well judged against grapefruit and more tropical, peachy fruit. On the palate racing acidity scythes a path through the buttery and nutty oak and the intense concentration of fruit. Glittering and concentrated stuff.
(2021) From Blewitt Springs, arguably the home of the new wave Grenache movement. From vines planted in 1952 in deep sandy soils, open-topped fermenters then aged in the lees in tank for 12 months. Very pure, very direct fruit, combining red and black fruits, a background of firm, leafy green herbs. Super-juicy on the palate, still with a good mouthfeel but great alacrity, keen fruit, elegant and edged by fine, sandy tannins and pert acidity. So drinkable.
(2021) From sandy soils with clay, vinified in open-topped fermenters with 20% whole bunches, it spend time maturing in large, old oak barrels. Soaring creamy aromatics here, real eucalyptus lift and floral notes, very distinctive with a sprinkle of pepper. In the mouth it has rich texture and quite a solid, concentrated feel, and yet the finish is bright and focused, good structural components and long.
(2020) Fruit for this wine comes from just 820 "gnarly, very old bush vines," planted in 1889. Winemaker Kevin Glastonbury says that despite now being more than 130 years old, the vines continue to produce small quantities of exceptional grapes. The vineyard has deep sandy soils with red clay layers and the vines draw moisture from the underlying clay. Wild yeast starts the fermentation process and the wine spends fully 41 days on the skins. There must be minimal extraction used however, as it has such a pale and transparent colour, and such a gentle nose, walnut and coffee cake, autumnal dry leaves and soft red berry fruit. It is very charming. In the mouth that cranberry and redcurrant fruit continues, but it is really quite delicate with lacey tannins and gently insistent acidity, giving this lots of elegance and prettiness, but with a freshness and little hint of biting austerity too. Lovely. Kevin describes it as 'still a baby', with the ability to age for several years. Price and stockist at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2017) A much bigger, mintier nose, with touches of eucalyptus and chocolate, then plenty of fudge and tight, grippy black fruit. The grip of fruit skins and tightness on the palate, more old school in a way, but does not suffer from that - a terrific wine. Price quoted is approximate at time of writing.
(2016) The Eden Valley component, with its cooler nights, once again gives lift and perfume to what is Torbreck's biggest selling wine in the restaurant trade. “We can’t make enough of this wine,” says Stuart. A nice black fruit lift, with tight blackcurranty aromas, and intense liquorice and black-berry fruitiness, taut with a sheen of smoke, but lovely balance again with the tight tannins and good, fresh juicy acidity. Available by the case of six in-bond at time of review.
(2016) The Eden Valley provides 30% of the fruit for the Struie, coming from 36-year-old vines, blended with Barossa fruit that’s 80 years old. Fine lift and fragrance here, with some floral notes, a touch of violet and chocolate and the juiciness is there, with tight, tight tannins and good acids. A much more perfumed style, though without the substance of some. Note, not available in the UK at time of writing, so 2013 stockist quoted.
(2016) From Calcium Carbonate (limestone) plots, and a blend of 60 different components, only 300 cases are made. The wild yeast earthiness and raciness is there immediately, intriguing with its meaty and umami aromas flavours, but intense black fruit too and then such great orangy acidity, real pronounced acidity that propels this powerful and delicious wine.