(Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro)- Barossa Valley, SA
One of the Barossa's highest profile producers, Torbreck, is an internationally recognised name well known for rather expensive, ultra-ripe, generously oaked reds packaged with distinctive white labels and visible corks. A unique wine within Torbreck's range is the Cuvée Juveniles; a relatively affordable, unoaked red with a coloured label and a screwcap closure.
I'm beginning to really appreciate unwooded Barossa GSMs for their ability to be cracked and enjoyed immediately, and Torbreck's 2009 Cuvée Juveniles instantly fits the bill, with a lightly spiced fragrance of liqueur cherries, blueberries, dates, cinnamon and spirit that strikes an aromatic lift and warmth from first pour. Its palate touches the edge of ideal ripeness without showing any baked fruit, allowing a pleasing burst of smooth, deep, dark, rich and pure GSM flavour to progress in a somewhat coarse fashion, with lingering, bountiful warm fruit notes interspersed by a faint spiciness and ever-so gentle, fairy floss-like tannins. A kind acidity helps hold the wine together without domineering, yet it's a generous dose of warm, Barossa sun-drenched, sweet/dark fruit flavours that defines not just the finish, but also this wine as a whole. So if a generously ripened Barossa red isn't your thing, then caveat emptor.
O Probably exactly what you'd expect from an unoaked Torbreck GSM. It's rich, heavily fruited, lightly spiced and dark, without a shred of interfering oak to cloak its substantial fruit. However, there are better, more affordable unwooded GSMs out there, but like its rivals, the Torbreck makes for perfect BBQ fodder. Drink to 2013.