Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Powell and Son

Not Your Father’s (or Robert Parker’s) Shiraz
February 14, 2017



A welcome visit last week from Dave Powell, one of my favorite Australians, accompanied by his son Callum. We’ve know Dave for over 15 years. He had created Torbreck wines whose reds had become iconic in the more modern, less heavy style of Australian Shiraz and Grenache. They flowed over the palate without assaulting it in the monster way that made Australian reds famous in the 90s and 00s, and over-the-top passé more recently.

Callum is as a chip off the old block albeit a grounding influence on his father’s exuberance. Back from a year spent working with Jean-Louis Chave, his head was full of the fine tweaks he could make in the viticulture and winemaking.

The wines certainly evoked the same sort of polished smooth-textured sophistication that I have been tasting in the newer wave of northern Rhone Languedoc and Roussillon without losing a barossa character.Even at 14- 15% , they were balanced and creamy.

Aside from a preview of some wonderfully upcoming 2015s, Dave and Callum brought some very good wines from their first, 2014 vintage. Two jumped out at me.

Their basic 2014 Barossa Shiraz (only 600 cases made) would be mid to upper level in many another producer’s book. It has developed wonderfully since I first tasted it a year ago.

Lisa Perotti-Brown praised it in the Wine Advocate for its “notes of crushed blackcurrants and blackberries with suggestions of tar, licorice, black pepper and dusty earth plus some raw meat notes. The palate reveals a concentrated, very serious wine for the “entry level” with savory, muscular fruit supported by nice freshness and a firm backbone carrying the long and chewy finish.”

They also made only 600 cases of their 2014 Barossa & Eden Valley Shiraz. Eden Valley is cheek by jowl with Barossa but is cooler with a higher elevation. The wines have more definition, poise, and freshness. This 50 -50 blend of vines on average 50 years old can hold its own with many a northern Rhone Syrah.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown again: “The aroma of this wine shows kirsch, lavender, sage and charred meats. It has a dark, brooding character to add further complexity. The palate is dense and deep with ripe black fruits: plum, blackberry compote as well as a cured meats and black olive.”

To me it married Syrah’s white pepper and spice with a deeper darker fuller fruit in a very satisfying wine. There were only 2 cases. We took them all.

2014 Powell & Son Shiraz Barossa - Organic; Color: heady very dense, opaque; Aroma: sweet rather dense fullish, clean, heady sweet spice dense, , lifted, sweet berry, well integrated; Mouth: sweet fine, herbal, nutty, rich, very dense finish, clean sweet long; Excellent 24.99; Mixed Case, 22.49;

Special Case, 239.88, 19.99

2014 Powell & Son Shiraz, Eden and Barossa; Aroma: headier, rather dense, rich spicy, very cleanly delineated spice rather dense complex, ; Mouth: rich rather tight acid, clean very spicy, balanced rather dense, fullish, very long; Excellent - Outstanding 50; Mixed Case, 45; Case, 42.50


Special Mixed case of 6 each of the two wines $375, $31.25 a bottle


Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: order@federalwine.com


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           - Len Rothenberg