Torbreck Wine - Vineyards, Wine Styles, Best Bottles (2024)

by Anthony Zhang

Want to know everything about Torbreck before you add a bottle of their wine to your collection?

This Australian winery is named after a forest in Scotland where its founder, David Powell, was a lumberjack. Established in 1994, it’s relatively young, but has produced some of the most sought-after Australian collectible wines that are inspired by Rhone Valley wines. 

It was also named as one of the world’s top 100 wine estates by wine critic Robert Parker. 

What styles of wine does this winery produce? What makes Torbreck wine special? 

In this article, let’s take a tour around Torbreck - its vineyards, the wine styles, and more. We’ll also share the top Eight Wines We Love From Torbreck and the Easiest Way To Invest In Wines.

Further reading

A Quick Intro To The Torbreck Winery


Torbreck is one of the leading producers of Shiraz (Syrah) wine in the Barossa Valley (South Australia.) It is located in the valley’s western ridge in Marananga. 

Pete Kight, who owns Quivira Vineyards and California’s Dry Creek Valley, bought Torbreck Winery in 2008. Knight and chief winemaker Ian Hongell have continued to produce outstanding wines using classic Barossa Valley varietals and have shaped the Torbreck winery into one of the finest wine estates that the world has ever seen. 

The Torbreck Wines

The Torbreck endeavour is based around Grenache, Mataro, and Shiraz grape varieties and has been driven by the love Dave Powell had for France’s Rhone Valley wines. 

The aromatic flagship wine Runrig Shiraz is made from 120-160 year-old vines, with a hint of Viognier. 

Torbreck is also known for its single vineyard Shiraz, The Laird, one of Australia’s most expensive wines. 

Besides the Runrig and Laird, Torbreck also produces over 15 wines, red and white, all based around Rhone varietals like Grenache, Viognier, Mourvedre, Roussanne, and Marsanne. (More about each wine in a bit!)

Torbreck Vineyards And Winemaking


Initially, the grapes used to produce Torbreck wines were obtained on a sharecropping basis (where a vintner rents land and pays with a share of the crops.) This allowed Powell to work with some of the best and oldest vines in the Barossa Valley. 

Torbreck has acquired some vineyards of their own, including the Hillside Vineyard in Lyndoch and the Descendant Vineyard. They source grapes from other vineyards as well.

Torbreck waits for the grapes to reach their full expression. Once they achieve this ripeness, they are hand-harvested, destemmed, and moved to the vinification process. 

Torbreck vintners remain traditional in their approach when it comes to winemaking techniques. These techniques include batch vinification in open concrete fermenters combined with ultra-violet and gravitational pull. 

Grapes are gently basket-pressed, and then the fermented juice is aged in older French oak Barrels. 

Here are the different styles of wine made by this Australian winemaker. 

Torbreck Wine Styles


Torbreck produces around 70,000 cases of wine per year. While most of the production is red wine, a small percentage is white wine. 

When the conditions are perfect, Torbreck also produces a small amount of Saignee Mataro Rose. 

Let’s get to know some of the popular wines produced at this winery.

A. The Runrig


This Shiraz is a flagship wine of Torbreck. It is made from vines over 120 years old and was named one of Australia’s 25 “benchmark” wines by Wine Spectator magazine. 

The Runrig was included in the Langton’s Classification (4th edition) of Australian wine at “Excellent” level. 

The wine quality of Runrig often draws a comparison with the beautifully structured wine from the Northern Rhone Valley appellation of Cote Rotie. 

B. The Laird


This truly remarkable wine was the result of a request from the Seppelt family (fourth generation). They wanted a Shiraz from their old Gnadenfrei vineyard, which is found in a subregion of Maranganga. 

This 5 acre vineyard was planted in 1958 and traditionally dry grown. After tasting the wine made for the Seppelt family, Torbreck decided to buy the Gnadenfrei vineyard. 

This sealed the Laird’s reputation as one of the best single Shiraz vineyard wines.

Also read: Not in the mood for red wine? Take a look at the fascinating Rieslingget to know the delicious Sauvignon Blanc and the crisp Pinot Blanc.

C. Descendant


This wine is produced from the cuttings originally earmarked for making Runrig. 

These cuttings were taken from The Descendant Vineyard, next to the Torbreck cellar door on Roennfeldt Road in Marananga. This wine is named to honor the vine that produced the fruit.

92% Shiraz and 8% Viognier are co-fermented, and the wine is aged in neutral barrels for 18 months before bottling. 

D. The Factor


This 100% Shiraz takes its name from the manager of a Scottish highland estate. The Factor pays homage to the old Shiraz vineyards and the growers who tend to them. 

It ages for 24 months in a combination of new and neutral French oak barriques and is made from the old vine fruit sources used to make Runrig.

E. Les Amis


Inspired by Powell’s friend, Ignatius Chan, Les Amis is 100% Grenache and made from dry-farmed bush vines planted in 1901. 

The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed before they go into a single cement vat, basket pressed, and spend 18 months in French barriques. 

F. Other Wines Produced at Torbreck


Apart from these fantastic wines, Torbreck also produces wines from vineyards in Eden Valley, Lyndoch, and others across Barossa Valley.

  • Red Wine: The Steading, The Gask, The Celts, Cuvée Juveniles, The Pict, Torbreck Woodcutter, and The Struie 
  • White Wine: Woodcutter's RVM, Steading Blanc, Woodcutter's Semillon, The Bothie

Ready to get your hands on a bottle of Torbreck wine? 

Also read: Got a festive occasion coming up? Mix your guests a Mimosa or a Champagne Cocktail like Kir Royale. Or, perhaps a Scintillating Sangria to get your guests in the party mood. 

8 Torbreck Wines That You Should Buy in 2024

Wines from Torbreck are truly outstanding and would make the perfect gift for any wine connoisseur. Here is our list of the eight top Torbreck wines

1. 2008 The Laird, Barossa Valley, Australia


This gorgeous garnet-purple 2008 Laird has extraordinary aromas of creme de cassis and black plum that are backed up with aromas of licorice, exotic spice, oolong tea, and a hint of earthy loam. 

This richly textured wine has a provocative and complex palate. The layers reveal ripe black fruit and menthol notes, while the velvety tannins take you to a long and harmonious finish. 

Price of 2008 The Laird: $828

2. 2010 Torbreck Runrig Shiraz - Viognier, Barossa Valley, Australia


Once decanted, this 2010 Shiraz evolves rapidly. It has aromas and flavors of brown sugar, mocha, and roasted meat, giving away a raspberry compote note. 

The subtle sweet cream notes and supple tannins help make this wine’s high alcohol level more palatable. 

Price of 2010 Torbreck Runrig Shiraz - Viognier: $285

3. 2009 Torbreck Les Amis Grenache, Barossa Valley, Australia


This wine displays the beautiful aromas of warm red currants, mulberries, and raspberry preserves, with a touch of oolong tea and mandarin peel. 

Its rich palate has voluptuous fruit notes and has a well structured and balanced, crisp acid and firm tannin level. The finish is long and has layers of berry and spice flavors. 

Price of 2009 Torbreck Les Amis Grenache: $241

4. 2001 Torbreck The Descendant Shiraz - Viognier, Barossa Valley, Australia


This spectacular Australian red wine offers aromas of honeysuckle, blackberry, creme de cassis, licorice, spice, and coffee. 

You will enjoy the intense flavors of bright youthful fruits and the perfect balance of power, taste, elegance, and the Barossa warmth you’d expect from this vintner.

Price of 2001 Torbreck The Descendant Shiraz - Viognier: $141

Read more: Take a tour of the fascinating Chianti Wine Region and the gorgeous wines produced there. 

5. 2007 Torbreck The Pict, Barossa Valley, Australia


This wine’s bouquet has delicate scents of blueberry, cola, dark cherry, smoky Indian spices, and a floral quality.

This wine is weighty but surprisingly lithe and has flavors of sweet dark fruit and candied violet. 

Price of 2007 Torbreck The Pict: $136

6. 2010 Torbreck The Factor Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia


The 2010 vintage reveals a lovely nose with blackberry coulis, creme de cassis, and plum pudding with intriguing flourishes of cloves, dark chocolate, licorice, and peppered salami notes.

This complex Shiraz is a full-bodied, fruity wine with wild blueberry flavors, rounded tannins, and an energized backbone that brings everything to a lengthy finish. 

Price of 2010 Torbreck The Factor Shiraz: $122

7. 2016 Torbreck Hillside Vineyard Grenache, Barossa Valley, Australia


This Grenache is ultra-polished with tremendous character - it starts with a nose of orange peel, brambly fruit, citrus blossoms, sandalwood, and garrigue-like herbs and spices. 

It has a fruity and tangy palate with fine talc-like tannins, which are backed by bright acidity. 

Price of 2016 Torbreck Hillside Vineyard Grenache: $75

8. Torbreck Old Vines Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia


The Old Vines Shiraz from Torbreck is a stunning deep garnet red color with purple hues. The wine has exquisite aromas of creme de cassis, black cherries, and lavender.

The palate offers up a silky texture and soft latent richness with flavors of plum, black cherry, and spice, which are all brought together by bright acidity and supple tannins. 

Price of Torbreck Old Vines Shiraz: $70

Should You Invest In Torbreck Wine?


Torbreck produces a range of superb wines, which would make a vital addition to any serious wine collection. The Runrig continues to earn scores in the high 90s from wine critics like Robert Parker and James Suckling. 

The 2005 and 2008 Laird received 100 point scores from Ms. Perotti Brown in the 2010 and 2013 Wine Advocate issues.

Both The Runrig and The Laird can age comfortably in a cellar for up to 30 years - longer than a good Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Despite the accolades, perfect scores from wine critics, and aging potential, Torbreck’s flagship wine has recently suffered due to increased availability in the secondary market. 

Even with this issue, Torbreck wines seem to be performing well. Take the 2008 Laird, for example - it enjoyed an increase from $668 - $803 in the space of six months (July 2020 - Jan 2021.)

But when would be the best moment to take advantage of the Torbreck wine investment opportunity? 

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Get This Beautiful Barossa Wine For Yourself


This Rhone Valley inspired wine is one that should be on your wine radar! Torbreck wines are the perfect pairing for an evening with your friends and an excellent addition to your wine collection. 

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