Wine review — Torbreck, Schild Estate and Jacob’s Creek

Torbreck Barossa Valley Cuvee Juveniles 2011 $20
Founder, David Powell, recently departed Torbreck, the winery he founded in 1994 and built into one of the Barossa’s most esteemed names globally. Torbreck continues, however, under American owner Pete Kight. A group of us recently enjoyed Torbreck Juveniles at Shorty’s, Garema Place. An unoaked blend of grenache, mataro and shiraz, it’s a delicious lunch wine – fragrant and fruity with soft tannins and a smooth, silky texture. Powell made the wine originally for the Juveniles Restaurant, Paris. You can now find it on a number of Canberra wine lists and in retail outlets. Expect to pay double the retail price in restaurants.

Schild Estate Barossa Valley Grenache Mourvedre Shiraz 2012 $15
Ed Schild and his family own about 160-hectares of vines in the southern Barossa Valley, a winery and a cellar door at Lyndoch – the lovely little southern gateway to the valley. The significant vineyard holdings allow the Schilds to sell grapes to other winemakers as well as to make 40 thousand or so dozen under their own label. Offering tremendous value is their unoaked blend of grenache, mourvedre (aka mataro) and shiraz. Like Torbreck’s blend, above, it offers ripe, juicy fruit flavours and soft tannins for current drinking. It’s fuller bodied than Torbreck’s, reflecting the warmer 2012 vintage.

Jacob’s Creek Classic Chardonnay 2012 $8.55–$12
Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2012 $14.25–$18
Even critics who should know better sometimes heap scorn on popular brands like Jacob’s Creek. But the proof of the wine is in the bottle. And on that account Jacob’s Creek’s two chardonnays offer really delicious drinking at fair and – thanks to retail competition – widely variable prices. The Classic, a multi-regional South Australian blend, provides smooth, medium-bodied drinking with fresh, lively, pure melon and peach varietal flavour. The Reserve version delivers the full, but refined, deep, nectarine-like flavour of cool-grown chardonnay – the flavour completely integrated with minerally, fresh acidity.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2013
First published 6 October 2013 in the Canberra Times