Torbreck, under new winemaking management, has taken some steps to broaden its offering. I am comparing here two newbies and two oldies from a recent tasting. Nothing has changed on the labels. It is still plain writing on white. Nothing wrong with that.
The first new wine is the 2016 Hillside Grenache, from a very old vineyard in Lyndoch with sandy soils. It is a few special rows which used to go into the Steading. The wine is fragrant, medium-bodied, raspberry fruit of some intensity, also some black fruits. The wine is appealing on the front palate, but then falls off (92 points).
Compare this to the 2017 Steading GSM. This wine offers more intensity and complexity. Raspberry, plum, black cherry and spices compete for your attention. The wine components are well integrated, but lack a bit of mouthfeel. The tannins are silky, but do not have much impact (93 points).
The first wine is the more expensive wine because of its scarcity, the Steading is the better wine.
Another new wine from the Hillside vineyard is the 2017 Hillside Shiraz Roussanne. This is a typical Torbreck wine of old: big, fat, plum profile with good fruit depth, and an alcoholic finish (90 points).
Compare this to the 2017 Struie. In this vintage, the Eden Valley component is 22%. It may be the junior partner to the Barossa Valley fruit, but it has quite an impact. Next to the intense plum fruit, there are blueberry notes and a perfumed aspect to the flavour. The mouthfeel is big, and the firm tannins are well integrated. This fruit dominant wine is too early to drink, and will come together well with time (94 points).
In this comparison, old wins over new.