2018 Torbreck Woodcutter's Shiraz

Year: 2018
Appellation: Barossa Valley
Country: Australia
Wine Advocate: 91
James Suckling: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.0%
Price :


"It's another successful vintage for this wine, which gives consumers a taste of the Torbreck style at a reasonable price. The 2018 Woodcutter's Shiraz offers raspberry and mulberry flavors, a full-bodied, plush, supple palate and savory hints of mocha and black olive on the finish.

I managed to squeeze in a couple of vineyard visits during my afternoon visit with the Torbreck team of Ian Hongell (winemaker) and Nigel Blieschke (viticulturist). At the Hillside Vineyard in Lyndoch, the core is an 1850 planting of Shiraz, but there are additional blocks amounting to 100 acres of the 300-acre property. The Hillside Grenache comes from a parcel planted in 1948. The dry-grown Laird Vineyard is the other Torbreck jewel. Originally planted in 1958 and purchased by Torbreck in 2013, this five-acre site in Marananga provides fruit for Torbreck's top bottling. Contrary to some claims, Hongell offered this simple retort as we looked over the year's young shoots, "It's not dead." Looking at the current lineup, there are a couple of gaps: in 2016, neither the Les Amis nor the Pict were bottled because they were smoke-tainted, according to Hongell. The 2017 was a cooler year, offering more perfume and spice, said Hongell. "We're very pleased with the power we've been able to build into these wines. We're absolutely in love with what we're doing, especially in the vineyards," he concluded." (WA)

"A beautiful, refined and punchy young red. There’s a lively edge to it with charcoal and licorice to the dark fruit. Medium-bodied, firm and lively. Tight and focused with linear tannins. Drink or hold. Screw cap." (JS)

Winery Notes:
The name Woodcutter's stems from when Torbreck founder David Powell spent several years working in the Scottish Highlands as a lumberjack or woodcutter in the Torbreck forest. Like all Torbreck wines it's sourced from hand harvested and hand tended, low yielding vines. It is then open fermented and gently basket pressed, and aged one fine lees for 12 months in large format seasoned barrels and founders.

Although this wine is constantly praised for being succulent and rich - perhaps the best feature of this wine is it's complexity and texture which are rarely found at this price.