There is this concern with full-bodied Barossa Shiraz that it does not age well. 'The fruit is very ripe and will simply die over time.' And I certainly have encountered wines like that. But the two wines I am describing below performed very well.
It was with some trepidation that I opened a bottle of the 2002 Torbreck The Factor. This is the biggest of Torbreck's wines, not mellowed by Viognier like RunRig or The Descendant. I was in for a pleasant surprise.The wine still has an intense purple colour. The flavours are black plum and blackberry, still quite youthful.There is the expected sweet core of ripe fruit, but overall, the wine has mellowed and is well balanced. There is still a massive mouthfeel, but it is not aggressive or overbearing. The tannins are firm and silky as well, and the wine has a long and lasting finish - very satisfying. As an aside, the alcohol of this wine is (only) 14.5%, which has done the wine a lot of good.
The 2002 Barossa Valley Estate E & E Shiraz tastes like the little brother in comparison. The descriptors are similar, but everything is a bit less intense.The wine is quite elegant, and the oak not very noticeable any more, and the mouthfeel less dramatic. This wine should be drunk now.
Both wines are excellent examples of the unique terroir in the Barossa. These are wines of an intensity of fruit which is hardly found anywhere else in the world. 12 years of age have helped to make them very drinkable.