Must Try Wine of the Week: Torbreck 2012 “Woodcutters” Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia

David Powell founded Torbreck Vintners in 1994. Australia’s Barossa Valley is filled with hardened old vines that make up the core of many of the Torbreck wines. The old-vine renditions carry some lofty prices, but fortunately, the younger vines deliver copious amounts of fruit at significantly less cost. The Woodcutter’s is such a wine. The name Woodcutter’s comes from the several years David spent working the Scottish Highlands as a lumberjack in the Torbreck forest.

Considered something of an introduction to the Torbreck lineup, as with all wines in the Torbreck stable, the fruit is sourced from hand-harvested and hand-tended plots throughout the Northwestern Barossa Valley. It’s fermented in cement, wooden, and stainless steel vats for 6 to 7 days, then basket pressed in well seasoned hogsheads and French oak foudres for 12 months. It’s bottled without the use of either fining or filtration.

This wine is dense and dark in color, with a powerful fruit-filled nose of blackberry and dark cherry, along with light smoke and leather aroma. Palate-coating, but beautifully balanced, the wine has lovely flavors of dark berries and spices, with a very smooth finish. There’s lots of pleasure here to like now, but the wine should also develop impressively with a few years in the cellar.

I recommend serving this at about 65 degrees, so if possible, place the bottle in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Smooth and silky enough to work with red or white meats, but also robust enough to pair with spicier foods such as sausage or even barbecue.
Available locally for less that $20 at Hi-Time Cellars, The Wine Club, Wine Exchange, and NapaCabs.

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