Wednesday, September 29, 2010


- Barossa Valley, SA
- $24-$33
- Screwcap
- 14.5%alc

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.
89 points


  1. p.s. I'll be coming back to this. I'm not convinced this individual bottle was drinking as the maker intended.

  2. I have had some decidedly ordinary Torbrecks from 2007 and 2008, though am suprised the 2009 is edgy. Do you think they added too much acid / it needs to settle?
    The Torbreck style is very risky, and I applaud them for pushing the style to the limits. In great vintages, they can arguably reach higher than many in terms of blockbuster reds, though in an 07/08 vintage the wines can fall off the precipice and become soupy, porty, dead-fruited wines.
    Will be interested to see if you thoughts change over time CP, though will wait for your updated assessment (eg: will not be buying one of these myself!)



  3. I honestly suspect this might've been a 'dud' bottle Brown (I don't really like that term, although I do accept their existence). It was just so hard and raw to finish, even on days 2 and 3 it just didn't dissipate, only marginally at best.

    As you say I was surprised to find this in a 2009, but this hardness and rawness is also something I wouldn't expect to find in either an unoaked GSM or a Torbreck wine (whose structure I usually consider to be quite ripe in one direction - like their wines).

    Either way it has me perplexed and curious, and I'm keen to give it the 'Case In Point' re-treatment with my mate Casey to see if this was a 'dud' bottle. It's just that my original note might be completely irrelevant if it was.

    Chris P

  4. Hellow Yutaka Saito!

    Thanks for the comment. I'm sorry, but I'm having some difficulties reading your website! My Japanese is poor to say the least!