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Cellar Notes: Torbreck 2006 The Laird

Scottish themes abound in the nomenclature of Torbreck, the celebrated Australian winery founded in 1994 by David Powell, who once plied his hand as a lumberjack in a forest in Scotland of the same name. Having gained valuable experience during his tenure at Rockford Wines in the Barossa Valley, Powell decided to strike out on his own after discovering a small vineyard of ancient vines that went unfarmed. He arrived at an agreement with the owner, whereby he cultivated the property in exchange for the harvest and paid the owner a percentage of the proceeds. The result was the RunRig Shiraz (named for the Highlands clans’ system of dividing their land).  Another robust red stands above this offering in the label’s hierarchy. Sourced from the prestigious Gnadenfrei Vineyard in the Marananga subregion, the Torbreck 2006 The Laird is among Barossa’s rarest and finest wines—the lord, if you will, of Australian Shiraz. From its garnet surface, scents of blackberry, morello cherry, and lemon verbena arise; on the palate, the Laird’s concentrated fruit flavors lie atop deep, complex strata of earthier notes, including tobacco, tea, pumpkin spice, smoked bacon, and anise. ($700) www.torbreck.com

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