Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wines of the Week - November 24th

Our three wines this week encompass a classic aged Barossa Shiraz, an Austrian specialty and a great value red from Spain.

Torbreck The Factor 2001

Unlike many of the famous names of the Barossa, Torbreck does not have a long history in the region, even if many of the vines that contribute to its wines do. Dave Powell only started the winery in 1994, but his ability to source grapes from old vines in the region, many of which he had helped restore, led to near overnight success for the former lumberjack (Torbreck is named after a Scottish forest where he had worked). Quickly receiving rave reviews for his mostly Rhone-styled reds, the winery makes excellent wines across the price spectrum. The Factor has always been my favourite, and this 100% Shiraz is drinking beautifully at 10 years of age. It's not cheap, but well worth the occasional splurge. Drink The Steading in the meantime.

Fritsch Grüner Veltliner Steinberg 2009

The days of Austrian Grüner Veltliner being the new kid on the block are long gone, but maybe its time to remind ourselves why this wine became so popular. It goes well with food! Plenty of citrus and acidity on this dry wine, but it holds back from being overly punishing - that said, it's better with food, becaiuse, well, it goes with...seafood...prawns if you're asking, to help bring out the subtle mineral notes and provide maximum enjoyment.

Descendientes de J. Palacios Bierzo Petalos 2008

Bierzo is located in the north-west of Spain, and is only slightly better known than the Mencia grape from which this wine is made. The 2009 vintage of this wine finished high up in Wine Spectator's Top 100, but the 2008 is also excellent. It needs a little time to open up, so decanting for an hour or two is a good idea. Plenty of juicy, ripe black fruit, but with some stony minerality adding complexity. Keep your eyes open for the 2009.

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