(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, currants, cinnamon and spirit that strikes an aromatic lift and warmth from first pour. However, the palate doesn't follow suit, as its initially pleasing burst of smooth, deep, dark, rich and pure GSM flavour is betrayed by a jarring acidity and an unpleasant rawness. Indeed the whole presentation seems to be left wanting once its plush entry is overcome by an edgy, thinning, ill-defining intensity; while a final, ungainly and lingering impression of ultra-ripe fruit, spirit and clove-like flavour does little to enhance the experience. With air it becomes marginally softer, but it never achieves true balance.
X This is a wine of two tales; a pleasing entry and a rough finish. Hopefully the latter might sort itself out with some more time in the bottle, but you'd probably be better off buying Teusner's 2009 Joshua instead. Drink 2011-2012.
Case In Point Update 9-November-2010
Casey: All the pleasing qualities of a GSM on the nose, with robust berries and a slight fortified grenache aroma. Lovely rounded flavour with a ripe, juicy burst and almost completely devoid of tannins. Finishes a little sweet on the palate.
Chris: Okay, so here's the first 'Case In Point' wine which I've re-reviewed because I believe my original note might have been based on a 'dud' bottle. Put simply, it was the off-putting, hard intensity of its finish which lead me to feel something wasn't quite right, and being the fair man that I am, I felt it possibly deserved better than this note. So how's the second bottle? Well, the hard finish is nowhere to be seen, in fact, it actually finishes quite soft with some pleasing spice elements, but other than that most of the original note remains true. So yes, I remain under the impression that my original note was taken on a 'dud' bottle. As a result I've re-written my original note, which can be found here, or under Red Blends in Wine Reviews in the sidebar. Anyway, my updated score is....89