Anyone familiar with the Barossa’s fabled Torbreck Wines would have already guessed that the Powell in Powell & Son is none other than Torbreck founder Dave Powell. Dave teamed up with his 22 year old son Callum a couple of years ago to start a new small-scale eponymous wine label at the Riverside Vintners in Lyndoch.
Apparently Callum’s birth in 1994 coincided with the pressing of the first vintage of Dave’s own shiraz, so you could say that Callum was born with wine in his blood! Before starting a degree in oenology at Roseworthy, Callum had a stint working under Jean-Louis Chave in Hermitage. Dave is quick to acknowledge that his precocious son is already developing his own unique winemaking style.
But only someone of Dave’s experience and bravado would release an inaugural flagship shiraz with a sticker price of $750 a bottle! Yet the critics haven’t blinked an eye at either the price tag or the pedigree of the Powell & Son Steinert Flaxman’s Valley Shiraz. (Only 220 cases of the 2014 vintage were made.)
Steinert is indeed a very impressive vineyard. Located in Eden’s Flaxman’s Valley, the vines are more than 120 years old and cost the Powells $10,000 a tonne. Dave and Callum are relishing the opportunity to spend time together in this special vineyard, working it to perfection.
Of the inaugural 2014 vintage, Perrotti-Brown remarked that “it’s a very pretty wine possessing a deep garnet-purple color and lifted nose of kirsch, crushed red currants and black raspberries with suggestions of wild thyme, lavender, black pepper and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm backbone of grainy tannins supporting elegant yet intensely flavored fruit with great harmony and freshness to the very long finish.” (97 points, eRobertParker.com #221 Oct 2015)
The Wine Front’s Mike Bennie believes the Powell & Son new lineup of six wines shows “all the DNA of [Dave’s] past, but there’s a freshness and vitality to the wines that seems to lift them.” (The Wine Front, Powell & Son Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014, 2 March 2015). The range also includes the Loechel Eden Valley Shiraz – sourced from a single vineyard high in the Eden Valley, the Barossa & Eden Valleys Shiraz, the Barossa Valley Grenache Shiraz Mataro, the Barossa Valley Shiraz, and an Eden Valley Riesling.
In a recent interview with Wine Business Magazine’s Anthony Madigan, Dave asked, “Can you please make sure you mention Callum in the article? It’s very much a father-son team. He designed the label and is driving the wine style. I’m proud of him.” (Winemaker Dave Powell back in the Saddle by Anthony Madigan, 10 July 2016)
The future is looking very bright indeed for this father and son team!
by Merrill Witt, Editor