Torbreck launches latest Laird and RunRig

Australian winery Torbreck has released the latest vintages of its flagship wines ‘The Laird’ and ‘RunRig’.

Both wines will be launched in the UK later this summer, The Laird being released is from the 2012 vintage and is only the fifth wine to have been made by the winery since it was introduced (the other vintages being 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010) and the Runrig hailing from the 2014 vintage.

The 2012 vintage was described by Stuart Barrie, marketing and communications manager at Torbreck, as “unique” and “terroir-driven”.

“It had perfect weather and fruit,” he said, “It’s one of those great vintages you only get every few years.”

A double magnum of The Laird 2012 sold for AU$7,689 at the recent Barossa Wine Chapters auction, a “record price” for the wine as it equates to roughly $2,000 a bottle.

The wine was aged for three years in oak and two in bottle at the winery and Barrie called it probably the, “prettiest Laird we’ve made”.

In contrast to the easy-going 2012 vintage, the 2014 was rather more “finicky” said sales and export director Andrew Tierney and required careful selection due to heavy rainfall in February, including 80mm that fell in just one day.

Both wines are available in limited quantities with the equivalent of just 400 nine-litre cases made of each.

Both Barrie and Tierney said that The Laird and RunRig have large and loyal followings around the world, not least in the UK, but there was still work to do to cement the Barossa’s reputation as a truly great fine wine region in collectors’ minds (outside of Australia at least).

“The Barossa is a great region of Australia and the world but we still need to communicate the quality of the region,” said Tierney. ‘There’s still a stigma about the Barossa and high end Australia in general.”

And of the course the only way round this is to continue to produce top quality wines, “and there are a lot of us doing that in Barossa,” he concluded.

Australian fine wine in general, along with its Italian and Californian counterparts, received a substantial boost in attention from 2011 onwards as the market turned its back on Bordeaux after prices rose unsustainably.

Another factor in Australia’s on-going success has been the huge change in winemaking techniques across the board, dialling back alcohol, extraction and oak (to a point) in search of what Tierney referred to cricketing terms as, “line and length”.

He admitted that the “1990s and early 2000s hurt us,” as it established the idea of Australian and especially Barossa winemaking as being big and alcoholic. Now though things were different and winemakers were, “looking for line and length. It augurs well for Torbreck and the wider industry. We’re making wines to stand the test of time and back to making wines with a sense of place.”

The Laird 2012 will be released in the UK on 1 June and the 2014 RunRig on 1 July.

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