I've recently had a couple great experiences with Torbreck wines from the Barossa Valley of South Australia. But I'm conflicted about this bottling that was sent to this humble blog as a review sample.
Named for the famous Juveniles Wine Bar in Paris, the wine began nearly a decade ago as something of a house wine for the establishment. Demand for the wine grew along with production, and now it's a standard issue in Torbreck's portfolio.
Think about it. Australian red wine at home in a Parisian wine bar? Sounds crazy to me. So perhaps I brought too much expectation to this grenache, mourvedre and syrah blend. It must be a dead ringer for French wine. How else would the French accept it?
Well, the 2008 Torbreck Cuvee Juveniles smells and tastes like good, but very classic, Barossa red wine. It has a dark color with fresh fruit and light eucaplytus aromas, with some pleasant herbaceousness and just a hint of Rhone funk complexity (hard to describe). The flavors are all Australia. Not hot and alcoholic and over the top, but fresh, ripe and almost sweet with a moderately thick texture and not much complexity. The finish is short with a mild acid streak. In sum, not bad but not what I"m looking for in red wine. Not nearly as exciting to me as the Torbreck Woodcutter's Semillon I wrote about recently.
In fairness to the wine and you readers, I took some over to my neighbor who thinks I like overly dry wines. She didn't swoom over the Cuvee Juveniles, but she really liked it. So you might too. Still I wonder what the French think of it. I know the Brits love Aussie wine. But the French? Maybe I'll have to check this out myself.