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2018 Torbrek The Factor

2018 Torbrek The Factor

Vineyard: Torbrek

Region: Barossa Valley

Country: Australia

Grapes: 100% Shiraz

Vintage: 2018

ABV: 15%

Vivino: 4.4
Drink By: 2040

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Occasional Wine Note: "Many countries have taken different grapes native to France and essentially adopted them as their own - Malbec in Argentina, Tannat in Uruguay, Chenin Blanc in South Africa, Primitivo (Zinfandel) in the United States, etc. In Australia, the Syrah grape from the French Rhone Valley region fits that bill. Here they have made Syrah their own, even calling it something different, Shiraz, which accounts for nearly 40% of all wine production in Australia.


And in Australia, some of the best Shiraz hails from the Barossa Valley. Besides having the ideal climate and soils for Shiraz, the Barossa Valley is also home to some of the world’s oldest vines. How can that be? Well, it is one of the few wine regions in the world that was not impacted by the 19th century infestation of phylloxera, a nearly microscopic aphid-like insect that wiped out massive swaths of vineyards, in some places destroying over 90% of the vines. The region’s relative isolation from the rest of the world has spared them this destruction and as a result, we get grapes from vines that are well over a century old.


Why does this matter? Vines do not usually produce grapes that are good enough for commercial viticulture for about 5 years. At 20 years, they are said to be mature and will produce increasingly better grapes at increasingly smaller yields until they are no longer producing. Lots of producers include the vine age in their tech sheets and on their labels because the vine age matters. Of course, in many places, including the US, the regulations on what “old vine” actually constitutes may be ambiguous, but in this instance we are truly drinking wine from some very old vines."

  • James Suckling

    Critic Score: 98

    A pristine nose of ripe and intense blackberries, blueberries and redcurrants, as well as some sanguine, rust-like notes. This is an excellent edition of The Factor. I like the power and focus this wine delivers and, in 2018, it is a wine of great length and presence. Abundant ripe blackberries bathe the palate. Try from 2025.

  • Wine Enthusiast

    Critic Score: 95

    From old vines—some well over a century—in two subregions of northwestern Barossa, this has all the classic Torbreck red hallmarks. With a nose you could drive straight into, it's a bottomless well of plump plum, blackberry, mocha, black olive and bay leaf, with cedar base notes.

    The mouthfeel is luscious with concentrated fruit and powerful, well-placed tannins. There's some alcohol heat here and a sheen of high gloss oak, too, but like a well-tailored suit or a timeless black dress, it has decades of shelf life and will always be in fashion. Drink over the next 20 years.

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