Country: Australia, Barossa Valley
Tasting Notes: In the Scottish language, 'The Laird' refers to the Lord of the Manor. This single vineyard Shiraz comes from Malcolm and Joylene Seppelt's old Gnadenfrei vineyard in the sub-region of Marananga in the Barossa Valley.
In 2003, Malcolm asked if Torbreck would make the wine under contract for him. For the next two years, each time we gave the wine back to Malcolm, we felt we were returning the best parcel of Shiraz Torbreck made from that vintage - head and shoulders above the RunRig components. We coveted this vineyard for 15 years before finally getting the opportunity to purchase the fruit for Torbreck in 2005.
Around the same time, Torbreck was also approached by the Dominique Laurent negociant house in France to purchase their barrels. These barrels are known as "Magic Casks". Normal barrique staves are between 22 and 27mm thick. These are 45mm, perfect for long term wood maturation and are made from oak exclusively from the Tronçais forest, ideal for aging Shiraz. Over the three years The Laird matures in them, these barriques give a level of oak flavour and integration we once thought impossible.
This vineyard is perfect in every way. It is South East facing, completely dry grown, meticulously hand tended, farmed by a grower with a lifetime's experience, on typical Western Barossa soil - brown loam over red clay over limestone - and planted with one of the original Barossa clones. However, this vineyard also has an "X factor" which gives the wine an extra something that cannot be fully explained. The resulting small, concentrated berries produced consistently on the property make it the envy of all the winemakers in the valley.
Varietal: 100% Shiraz