The first observation is that one should not be guided by general vintage descriptions too much. In this line-up, the outstanding wine was the 2001. Who would have thought?The second observation is that The Steading is a mighty fine GSM, maybe the most appealing of Torbreck's wines for the average punter, and not overpriced like some of the other wines. And finally, these wines clearly have staying power, which is something people question of Torbreck's wines from time to time.
The Torbreck The Steading is a beautifully crafted blend, medium to full-bodied, but quite elegant, with fine tannins on the finish.
The 2001 The Steading expressed this the best. The balance of this wine is excellent, with fruit still dominant and silky tannins. It has a number of years ahead.
The 2000 The Steading is now dominated by earthy characters. Cherry and redcurrant flavours are still there. It still stands up well, but should be drunk now.
The 2002 The Steading is a weaker wine. Its fruit is less penetrating, tannins are disappearing, and the finish falls a little short. Still a decent wine, but should be drunk now.
The 2004 The Steading was different from the other three, not just because it is younger. This was a much bigger and riper wine. As a result, it did not have some of the delicate fruit flavours of the others and instead had a meatier profile. I was having duck with it, and it overpowered the meal, which I was not expecting from a GSM. Plenty of life still in the wine.