Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Torbreck RunRig

The 2016 Torbreck RunRig is creating plenty of waves, even before its world-wide release on 1 June. This is due to its 100 point rating by Robert Parker, only the second time this has occurred in the 20 year life of this brand. I had an opportunity to taste this wine yesterday.

The first impression is; this wine has beautiful balance. It is lingering in the mouth and goes on and on. The colour of the wine is the usual impenetrable deep purple. Back to the flavour; this wine is delicious, great depth of fruit, unfolding in layers, not too heavy, with a rounded mouthfeel and silky tannins. The Viognier component does not stand out, but gives the wine a lift on the very long finish.

Make no mistake, this is a typical Torbreck wine with 15% alcohol, but the fruit can take it. It goes against the trend of lighter wines, but has probably shifted slightly to a fresher profile.

Score: 98/++

Am I swayed by the Parker rating? I hope not. Torbreck has access to the best and oldest Shiraz grapes in the Barossa Valley and in this release has fashioned a special wine. There is a word of caution, though, as I was able to compare this wine with the release from 10 years earlier, the 2006 Torbreck RunRig.

This wine had the 'advantage' of being poured from Magnum. And there was still some freshness in the wine. The flavour and structural profile was very similar to the 2016, but the fruit flavours were beginning to decline. The wine is now more savoury, the tannins are still silky, but the high alcohol (15.5%) is now starting to show, leading to a slightly hot finish.

Score: 94/0

The lesson from this comparison is to pick the drinking window of the 2016 RunRig carefully. It will definitely benefit from some maturity, but I would suggest to drink this wine earlier than what would be normal for a wine of this pedigree, maybe at 5 years of age. The fruit needs to still be strong to keep the alcohol in check.  

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