Client Profile: Torbreck Vintners

A Vintage Australian Success

One of the world’s most famous wine critics has given Barossa Valley’s Torbreck a flawless 100 point rating for its “perfectly balanced” Shiraz.  Is Torbreck’s “The Laird” set to rise as high as Penfold’s “Grange”?

When it comes to truly great, internationally recognised Australian wine, Penfold’s iconic “Grange” has long stood alone at the top of the tree, with perhaps only Henschke’s “Hill of Grace” approaching its reverential status.  But after some big news on the worldwide grapevine, it seems that another local drop could join them at the top.

“The Laird” is the crowning achievement of Barossa Valley winery Torbreck Vintners. Described as a perfectly balanced, elegant, powerful and yet mellow Shiraz, The Laird’s 2005 and 2008 vintages both received a flawless 100-point rating from arguably the world’s most respected wine critic, Robert Parker.

It’s also met with incredible commercial success. The recently released 2010 vintage – as yet not reviewed, but again tipped to be outstanding – sold out in less than a month at the price of $750 per bottle, making it Australia’s most expensive current-release table wine.

According to Torbreck General Manager Peter Perrin, The Laird’s rise is the satisfying result of around two decades’ tireless work in the pursuit of establishing the South Australian producer as one of the world’s finest wine estates.

“We’re very proud of it,” says Peter. “The name ‘The Laird’ means ‘Lord of the Manor’ in Scottish terminology, and it certainly deserves that title.”

Established in 1994, the winery now produces and exports over 20 different wines, including the classic Barossa red varieties of Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro, as well as whites Viognier, Semillon, Marsanne and Rousanne. It owns and manages several high quality vineyards in the world-renowned region, but The Laird comes from perhaps the most special of all.

“Our Laird vineyard is as close to perfect as it gets,” says Peter. “Previously known as ‘Gnadenfrei’, it’s southeast facing in the Marananga area, with cool gully breezes reminiscent of France’s famous Mistral wind, which blows through the Rhone Valley.

“It’s planted with one of the original Barossa Shiraz clones, dry grown, hand tended and traditionally farmed and pruned. The berries are small and concentrated, but they also possess an ‘x-factor’ that no-one can fully explain.”

With the assistance of DW Fox Tucker, Torbreck purchased the vineyard outright (it had previously been held under contract) in 2014 from legendary South Australian wine figure Malcolm Seppelt. According to Peter, the acquisition was important not just in terms of securing a valuable asset, but also as a long-term strategic move.

“We saw it as a fantastic opportunity for both Torbreck and the Barossa to continue its fine-wine story, and to further explore the detailed journey from regional to site-specific wines,” he says.

“It goes hand-in-hand with the installation of our own on-site bottling facility a few years ago, which gives us complete quality control throughout the winemaking and production process.

“It just goes to show what’s possible with hard work and patient capital accumulation, allied to an informed, long-term vision.”



Call: +61 8 8562 4155

This communication provides general information which is current as at the time of production. The information contained in this communication does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon as such. Professional advice should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the information. Should you wish to discuss any matter raised in this report, or what it means for you, your business or your clients' businesses, please feel free to contact us.

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