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2005 Torbreck Shiraz The Laird

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2005 Torbreck Shiraz The Laird

Single Bottle - Standard - 750ml

Starting bid HK$4,900.00
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Tasting Notes:

The Laird is Powell’s new baby, coming from a single 5 acre / 2 hectare vineyard of Shiraz in the Marananga sub-region planted in the 1960s that recently became available for contracting. This is a very different wine from Run Rig. What is most striking about it is the combination of power and elegance in this first vintage, coming from a very good year in the Barossa. Matured for 3 years in new Dominique Laurent “Magic Casks” (Troncais French oak barriques with thicker staves designed for the long aging of Shiraz), 2005 The Laird gives a deep garnet color and pronounced nose that shows savory and spice notes over the fruit, with aromas of hung meat, Peking duck, fertile loam, underbrush, tree bark, anise, cumin seed, menthol, dried roses and lavender over warm black cherries, crush blackberries and fruit cake. The tight-knit, full-bodied palate is very fine with a high level of silt-like tannins and crisp acid running through the concentrated fruit and savory flavors, finishing very long with lingering earth and spice notes. At 14.8% declared alcohol, this is by no means one of the biggest wines in the Barossa, but it is most certainly one of the best. It’s an absolute joy to drink now but it is recommended readers give it 4-5 years more in bottle to soften and marry and enjoy it to 2030+. Not a man known for his modesty, David Powell was notably less humble than usual during my recent visit. That overly confident smirk that he wears when he’s about to reveal a winning hand has no doubt incited more than a few barroom riots. It was only human nature that I was subconsciously willing his current releases to be even a little underwhelming. And I almost wish I could tell you they were. If his demeanor can at times be enough to set bloods boiling, before I get to the tasting notes I’ll inject a few words about what does impress me about Powell. He is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about what happens in his vineyards, perhaps more so than in the winery. He has close relationships with his growers and calls the shots when it comes to vineyard management, recently telling me he had to end the contract with a grower of a fabulous vineyard of ancient vines this year because the grower simply refused to follow his instructions. Powell didn’t attend Roseworthy College or any other wine related institution. In many ways this has been to his credit because he rationalizes everything that he does and he makes wines with a difference. The structures of his red wines particularly stand out to me. Through developing an individual approach to tannin management and extracting a quality and texture of tannins that comes purely from grape skins that are carefully reared and harvested within a tight window of ripening, he creates some truly iconic reds…though even at the more modestly priced wines can age very gracefully. Finally Powell does not release wines that aren’t up to his high standards and as smug as he can be about his successes, he’s also the first to raise his hand to his mistakes. 2008 was a very difficult vintage at Torbreck. 2008 Run Rig and Les Amis were not made. 2007 Les Amis was not released either, Powell admitting to me, “2007 Les Amis was the biggest ****-up I ever made.” In 2009 Torbeck was back on form. “2009 was a fantastic vintage, best year I’ve seen in 27 years in the valley. Especially for Grenache. Shiraz was good too. 2008 was like being in a war by comparison.”

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