March 6, 2008

Torbrek Woodcutter's Red Shiraz 2006

Shiraz (Syrah) / $16-$22
Barossa Valley / South Australia

I bought this wine last fall on the recommendation of Doug Rosen at ARROWINE in Arlington, VA. He bought a few pallets, and sold it at a blow out price. I bought a case and stocked it in the cellar to let it rest a bit.

There are positive and negative attributes to having a cellar. The positive part is you have a dedicated space to store your wine in a controlled environment. The negative is you can sometimes forget what you have in the racks at any given moment. I found this wine hidden away while making room for some wine that was being delivered today, and decided to take a bottle upstairs to try.

Parker gave this wine 92 points. In all candor, that is the reason I bought a case of this wine. At $15.99 a bottle on sale, and 92 seemed like a good deal. I like Australian Shiraz, and this certainly hit a sweet price point.

The screw top is convenient on these bottles, but I still feel it cheapens the wine experience. I understand that these closures may ultimately be proven superior to cork. Emotionally though, I love to go through the the routine of opening with a corkscrew. I actually had the corkscrew out and ready to use until I realized I did not need it....

The wine is very purple. Think Welch's grape juice purple. The aroma was sweet, heavy with black cherry, plum and blue fruits. It did not disappoint. There were no surprises on the flavor side. Lots of Blueberry with cherry and blueberry undertones. It has a big mouth feel, the fruit is almost overwhelming (Not that there is anything wrong with that...Thanks, Jerry Seinfeld). It finished smooth without any bitterness or heavy tannins.

This is a very pleasant wine. I know that Parker gave it a 92, but remember this is a Australian Shiraz. If you do not appreciate the fruit forward style of the Australian winemakers, you will not care for this wine at all. If you do, as I do, you will appreciate this for what it is. A great Australian value.

You can still find this wine an any good wine shop. Torbrek has been producing good wines with price points that run from $16 to $225. For a real treat, try their "Run Rig" Shiraz. It is made with super premium grapes, and a truly fabulous experience. Just remember though....for the price of ONE bottle of "Run Rig" you can buy a case of "Woodcutters" Red....

I am attending a Bordeaux tasting with some friends tonight which I will report on this weekend. Until then, Cheers!

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