Wine review – Torbreck, Redbank and Partisan

Torbreck Barossa Valley Cuvee Juveniles 2013 $25
Originally made for Juveniles bistro, Paris, Torbreck provides an exuberant, unoaked expression of the Barossa’s signature blend of grenache, shiraz and mataro (aka mourvedre). Despite its hefty 15-per-cent alcohol, Juveniles sits bright, fresh and fruity on the palate, with little sign of alcoholic heat. Grenache (60 per cent of the blend) leads the aroma, musk-like flavour and liveliness of the palate. Shiraz adds body and soft tannins to the blend, while mataro contributes spice, savour and tannic grip to a remarkably fruity, buoyant finish.

Redbank Sunday Morning King Valley Pinot Gris 2013 $17.90–$22
Pinot gris and pinot grigio are just the Italian and French names respectively for the same grape variety. “Grigio” and “gris” mean “grey”, indicating the skin colour, which can range through grey and pink to light red. While there’s no formal definition of the styles suggested by the names, “grigio” more often than not indicates the leaner, dry style produced in northeastern Italy; and “gris” represents the more luscious, sometimes sweet styles of Alsace, France. Redbank, from high-altitude vineyards in Victoria’s King Valley, sits towards the off-dry, plush French style, with a pleasant, light spiced pear-like flavour.

Partisan McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 $15.20–$18
McWilliams Wines remains one of Australia’s largest family owned wineries, with an ever-extending reach away from their Griffith base, and a kaleidoscope of regional brands. The Partisan label represents a step into McLaren Vale’s signature red variety, shiraz. And, typical of a McWilliam brand, the quality greatly exceeds what we’d expect at the price. If not offering Grange at $15–$18 a bottle, Partisan certainly deliver rich, ripe, shiraz with the chewy, savoury, satisfying depth characteristic of McLaren Vale. Discounted to around $15 a bottle, it’s an absolute bargain.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 20 and 21 June in and the Canberra Times