Grape: 100% Grenache
Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Ageing Potential: Drink now - 2025
Perfect with: Confit duck leg with pickled radish
Why you’ll love it:
The Torbreck story is a little bittersweet. Established in 1994 by Dave Powell, a larger than life character whose vision was to make Torbreck one of the greatest Australian wines to be considered along with the Penfolds and Henschekes. He started his winemaking career with some of the great Barossan producers including Rockford. Whilst working with them he discovered a patch of very old dry grown vines which he single handedly nurtured back to life and started producing some of his first wines which he used to finance his share farms. The share farms allowed Torbreck to access some of the best vineyard locations in Barossa and that was how it all started. The name Torbreck actually came from the name of a forest where Dave used to work as a woodcutter in Scotland. Dave is passionate about wine and winemaking, not so much about finances. After running into some financial trouble, Dave ended up losing control of the Torbreck estate to a US billionnare in 2013.
The 2005 Les Amis will give any Chateauneuf du Pape a good run for its money. Originally created for and name after one of Singapore’s first fine dining restaurants - a restaurant that charged $900 per person for a degustation at the time! Dave was given the task of producing a no-expense spared ‘wine’ for this restaurant. What was intended to be exclusive has since become available world wide.
Produced from seriously old vines that were planted in 1901. This was a special Seppeltsfield plot that Dave managed to get access to. These grapes were originally used in the Seppelts “Para” port line. But old vines provide very little yield and therefore expensive. The 2005 vintage you’re tasting is one of the last bottles of the greatest Australian grenache ever produced by Dave, made from vines that are over 100 years old, aged for 18 months in 100% new french oak. Not every vintage is made the same, but this vintage was always destined for greatness.
The 2005 Les Amis, sourced from a 100+-year-old vineyard, is 100% Grenache aged for 18 months in new oak. Remarkably fragrant, it emits full-throttle aromas of spice box, kirsch, wild raspberry, and blackberry liqueur. Plush on the palate, it reveals layers of rich, red and black berry flavours, ripe tannin, and a 60-second, pure finish. Although it can be admired now, the wine merits 6-8 years of further bottle ageing to reveal all of its splendours. This sensational effort could easily masquerade as Pegau Cuvee de Capo on human growth hormone. Rating: 98 Points; Dr Jay Miller – Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate