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Torbreck ‘The Laird’ Shiraz
When rare opportunities arise, we need to capture, nurture and develop them so that their potential is fulfilled. So when Torbreck was given the opportunity to work with one of the most famous vineyards in the Barossa Valley, it became almost inevitable that the resulting wine would be truly remarkable.
In 2003, Torbreck growers and fourth generation descendants of the Seppelt family, Malcolm and Joylene Seppelt, asked our winemakers to create for them a small batch of Shiraz from their old Gnadenfrei vineyard in the sub-region of Marananga.
Planted in 1958, the five acre vineyard is traditionally dry grown and comes from an original Barossa clonal source. South facing, on the eastern side of a ridge separating the Seppeltsfield and Marananga appellations, these aged vines have been meticulously hand tended, traditionally farmed and pruned by a grower with a lifetime’s experience on Western Barossa soils of very dark, heavy clay loam over red friable clay. The resulting low yields of small, concentrated Shiraz berries make the vineyard the envy of all winemakers in the Barossa.
We looked longingly at the wine when it was returned to the Seppelts, knowing that it was the best we had ever made. In 2005 we convinced the Seppelts to sell Torbreck the fruit and The Laird was born. In 2013 Torbreck purchased the Gnadenfrei vineyard, securing The Laird’s reputation as one of the world’s great single vineyard Shiraz wines.
After a cold and rainy winter in 2016, the Barossa had one of its wettest springs on record, replenishing sub-soil moisture and setting the vineyards up for a healthy summer. Mild conditions during veraison and light rains in January and February 2017, were followed by an extended warm, dry Indian summer, creating perfect ripening conditions through to April 2017. An outstanding vintage producing bright, aromatic whites and intense, well structured reds.
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