Saturday, May 30, 2009

Torbreck RunRig

Now it is time for a new iconic wine to show its wares. Boy, how different can two red wines be? But to start with the conclusion, this 2001 Torbreck RunRig came through with flying colours as well. 

As I was drinking this wine in a restaurant environment, I can't say too much about the nose. Then I took the first sip - and it hits you like a ton of bricks - actually more like a wave of thick ripe dark cherry fruit and plenty of oak. Dave Powell is the master of combining concentrated fruit and elegance, in my book. The best fruit each year, and he has the best of the best to choose from, goes into the RunRig. The wine also includes 3% Viognier, but its perfumed character is hardly noticable. The wine has incredible mouthfeel and initial sweetness. Down the palate, the vanilla character of the oak takes over, there is some eucalypt there and plenty of spice as well. It then leads to a harmoneous finish on the back of strong, but silky tannins.

This wine is still young. The fruit is quite dominant and fresh. My only concern: There is too much new oak on the palate. The fruit can take it, but I hope the oak will mellow and step into the background over time.

After having written this, I thought to look up what Parker in his "The world's greatest wine estates" had to say. He gave the wine 99+ points (how ridiculous is that?) 'flirting with perfection' and a 'worthy successor to the blockbuster, surreal 1998' (which I will be drinking tonight). A good description is 'The impression on the palate is one of marvelous richness and expansive texture, a multilayered skyscraper soaring across the palate with no heaviness.' In my view, the 'no heaviness' is the real achievement and difference to many blockbuster Barossas. He gives the wine 20 to 25 years, and after tonight's experience this may well be right.

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