Ever heard of Torbreck? Yeah, thought so. Well, this shiraz has been described by Ian Hongell, winemaker, as their “most structured… from a lot of ironstone soils”. Maybe it’s just me, but anything grown in ironstone soils sounds like it’s gonna be pretty badass.
The concentration is immense. There’s a plush, full-bodied fruit richness that few wines could match, and allows this one to take two years in 50% French oak barriques in its stride. It’s a recipe for classic, unmistakably Aussie wine, that’s fit for the most important occasions. It’ll taste both familiar enough that you’ll love it instantly, but shows a complexity and nuance that leaves little doubt as to the absolute standout quality on display here.
No landmark birthdays on the immediate horizon? Don’t worry, you’ll get a decade or more from this, easy.
The Wine Advocate
“Torbreck's 2016 The Factor incorporates what winemaker Ian Hongell calls their "most structured Shiraz, from a lot of ironstone soils." It spends two years in French oak barriques, half of which were new, so it shows hints of cedar pencil shavings and toasted coconut layered over ripe blackberries and spice. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it finishes long, with terrific energy and drive. It should prove to be one of the longest-lived wines from this lineup.”
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It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Barossa Valley
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Shiraz
- Serving Temp.
From the producer
The Factor is predominantly from the Gomersal and Marananga sub-regions of the Barossa, providing dense texture and richness to the palate with subtle notes of olive tapenade, saddle leather and minerals. Ripe aromas of plum and wild blackberries, olive, pepper and spice are all supported by a dark core of espresso roast, ripe blackberries and saltbush. Brooding and densely packed, this lavish wine has ample generosity to cellar for many years, where it will slowly unravel its beguiling riches.
Despite a dry winter during 2015, rains in January and March 2016, freshened the older vines and provided long, slow ripening periods in between, which led to a stand-out vintage with high quality fruit.
Founded by Dave Powell in 1994 and effectively taking Barossa to the world, Torbreck are considered an upstart, a revolutionary and a pin-up for Australian wine. With some of the most expensive, voluptuous and downright massive reds on the planet, they were bound to be divisive, but also bound to impress. They don’t go for mass market appeal, they go for their target market – those who love such wines. Every wine from Torbreck is special, sourced from special vineyards and made with careful attention and no shying away from their vision. We can’t say that there hasn’t been turmoil and controversy along the journey, but the wines speak for themselves, free from such human issues. And they speak loudly.
'Barossa Valley'. This is Australia's key wine brand overseas, in the US especially. It's our riposte to 'Champagne', 'Scotch' and 'Barolo'. My mind conjures these images, in this order: Shiraz, Penfolds wine, Maggie Beer condiments. All of which can GET - IN - MY - BELLY! But there is so much more to the Barossa than first glance. There are fringe (and not so fringe) winemakers actively working to classify the valley's subregions, and this is a very worthy cause. From Moppa to Seppeltsfield to Marananga there's a lot of variation, and the styles produced can vary immensely. This is the next step in the vision of this region (which, let's face it, is a baby in the scheme of things), as it gets acquainted with its strengths, weaknesses and future opportunities.It's a region that's not sorry to produce the big, fruit-driven wine styles that make it so popular. So drink to the future of the Barossa, because it's as bright as any other region on the world stage.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Traditional roast lamb
- 2kg leg of lamb, fat trimmed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1.5kg chat potatoes
- Basic gravy (makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups):
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 2 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
- Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Lightly grease roasting pan. Place lamb in pan. Combine oil, rosemary and garlic in a bowl. Rub half the oil mixture over lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Roast lamb, basting with remaining oil mixture every 20 minutes, for 1 hour 15 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. Add potatoes to pan for last 40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
- Remove lamb from oven. Cover loosely with foil. Stand for 10 minutes. Carve. Serve with potatoes.
- Basic Gravy: Transfer meat (and any vegetables) to a plate to rest. Combine stock and wine in a jug. Skim fat from roasting pan, leaving 1 1/2 tablespoons pan juices and fat in pan. Place pan over high heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles and becomes golden. Add juices from resting meat. Slowly add stock mixture to pan, stirring constantly. Cook, scraping pan, for 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...