On the same day I tasted the Wynns wines, I tasted some relatively new releases from Torbreck.
The volume wine, the 2012 Woodcutters Shiraz delivers good plummy fruit on the palate, and a great mouthfeel, but it is not very harmonious and balanced (88 points).
The other wines are from the 2009 vintage, which according to Torbreck personnel beats 2010 with its elegance and the fact that these wines open up really well. 2010 wines in contrast will need a number of years cellaring.
The 2009 The Steading, a 60/20/20 GSM, as always, shows the bright fruit of the Grenache. The wine is vibrant and piercing, no lollipop flavours here (93 points).
The star of the tasting was the 2009 Descendent, a Shiraz/Viognier blend. The fruit flavours are deep and complex with a rich and elegant texture. The finish is surprisingly savoury and very long (96 points).
The 2009 Factor is fashioned in a traditional Barossa way: a big, rich wine, with concentrated blackberry fruit, chocolate and also some meaty notes. The fruit is not burnt, but the mouthfeel a bit rough (93 points).
It is actually interesting to compare Wynns and Torbreck on this occasion. At first blush, they seem to have little in common, however, as you look closer, both are relative high volume in their respective area, both have access to the best dirt in their region, and they focus on the varieties which do best in their regions. So how do the releases compare?
The accolade for the volume/value wine goes to the Wynns Shiraz, because it is the more harmonious wine. Comparing the classics - Wynns Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Torbreck The Steading - the gong goes to the Steading. This vintage is one of the best. I don't think the Wynns is. Then the specialty wines, if you like. Both the Messenger and the Descendent are terrific. Narrow win for Torbreck, as the wine is more complex. And finally comparing the premium classics: both the John Riddoch and the Factor are good wines, but not quite reaching a peak - a draw. (I enjoyed this exercise)