Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

Read about the wines in this tasting

Read our notes

The Inimitable Dave Powell, His Superb Shiraz and Friends

Dave’s wines were more powerful and precise than four letter words or two digit scores. Tasters lapped them up as eagerly as they did Dave’s earthy comments on life, liberty, and the pursuit of wine, women, and song.
September 13, 2017

David Powell and Son  

Powell & Son

Because of an importer’s error, we listed prices that were too high on the Roussanne-Marsanne and Barossa & Eden Shiraz. This mistake was in our email and at the tasting. If you ordered them, you were billed at the correct lower price. The prices below are now righteous and correct.
Dave Powell wants his tastings to go as smoothly as his winemaking this means that he wants to control the process minutely to produce the finest results. Poor Mike tried to help him out by pouring for some of the many tasters who showed up at one time.
Dave ordered Mike to get out using a few choice Aussie four letter words for emphasis.
Mike got.
Dave’s wines were more powerful and precise than four letter words or two digit scores. Tasters lapped them up as eagerly as they did Dave’s earthy comments on life, liberty, and the pursuit of wine, women, and song.
           The 2016 Riesling surprised a lot of people, particularly some who thought they didn't like the grape. It was freshly New World but with an enticingly lively acidity that perked up the palate. Juicy and fresh, it was very popular, and wonderfully drinkable.
           Dave hadn’t wanted to make a white 'Rhone' but Callum, Powell's "& Son" insisted. He had just done a stage at John-Louis Chave and tasted their wonderful white Hermitage.The Marsanne Roussanne has the depth of its French counterpart but a fresh and assertive almost floral guava note that ripe Roussanne gets in a warm climate. Very much liked and Highly Recommended.
The Riverside GMS and BarossaShiraz were the two most popular wines. Both delivered a lot of richness and character for a very reasonable price.
           The Barossa & Eden Valley Shiraz was entirely a level up. It scored on two levels, the rich fruit of Barossa Shiraz with the higher toned finesse of Eden grapes. Tasters ordered several at its higher price. It is even better at $48
            The single vineyard wines were superb even at their collectable prices. . The Loechel Shiraz from Eden Valley drew the most interest. The Wine Advocate found it nigh unto perfect. At $85 the bottle, it is less expensive than I thought at the tasting and compares very well to Napa Cabernet or Northern Rhone Syrah at the price.
           Quoted notes are from the Wine Advocate.
2016 Powell & Son Riesling "opens with a lovely lime juice and orange blossoms laced nose, revealing an undercurrent of yuzu, honeysuckle and coriander seeds. Light-bodied, dry and elegantly fruited in the mouth, it provides tons of citrus layers and a lively backbone, finishing with great persistence." $32, mixed case $28.8, Case $27.2
2016 Powell & Son Marsanne Roussanne "60% Marsanne and 40% Roussanne, ... pretty scents of warm peach, beeswax, honey and allspice with a hint of baking bread. Medium-bodied with plenty of savory and stone fruit flavor layers, it has a satiny texture and great persistence. 160 cases." 54; Mixed Case, 48.6; Case, 45.9
2015 Powell & Son  Riverside Grenache Shiraz Mataro; Aroma: heady rather dense very juicy, lifted, heady rather lean, juicy, smoky; Mouth: smooth very rich, very mouth filling anise & leather, rather dense, thick, nicely tensile notes of black raspberries, kirsch and mulberries with an earthy undercurrent and a waft of baking spices. The palate is soft, richly fruited and delivers plenty of pure, uncomplicated flavors with great harmony." Very Good Plus $21; Mixed Case, 18.9; Case, 17.85
2015 Powell & Son Barossa Shiraz; Aroma: thick, rather dense heavy, juicy nicely fresh, clean, fullish; Mouth: smooth clean very pretty, heady rather dense, dense deep rather heady; Pronounced blackberry, dark chocolate and black currant notes over hints of black earth, charcoal, licorice and a hint of violets. Profoundly rich and concentrated on the full-bodied palate, it has some delicious savory/olive tapenade notes emerging, supported by firm, ripe tannins and finishing with great length. With 1,500 cases available, snap this beauty up while it lasts!" Very Good - Excellent $26.99; Mixed Case, 24.29; Case, 22.94
2015 Powell & Son  Barossa & Eden Valleys Shiraz "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Barossa & Eden Valleys Shiraz delivers expressive red currant, black cherry and crushed blackberry notes over hints of baking spices, garrigue, black pepper and lavender. Medium to full-bodied and very finely textured with silken, fine-grained tannins and plenty of freshness, it has wonderful length and depth." $48; Mixed Case, 43.2; Case, 40.8
2015 Powell & Son  Grenache Shiraz Mataro "Blended of 60% Grenache, 20% Shiraz and 20% Mataro, the 2015 Grenache Shiraz Mataro displays a medium garnet-purple color and nose of baked cherries, raspberry preserves and warm plums with a smoky/chargrill undercurrent and savory touch of yeast extract. Full-bodied with concentrated flavors in the mouth, it has a solid backbone of firm, ripe tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and savory." $62, mixed case $55.8, Case $52.70
9-13 Powell Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $453
9-13 Powell Special, one each of the above wines - $240
Also  tasted:
2015 Powell & Son Loechel Shiraz “ a deep garnet-purple color and a gorgeous floral nose of roses and violets, with a whole array of baking spice-laced red and black fruit preserves emerging, plus some hints of cedar and chocolate box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is youthfully taut, firm and muscular, possessing a solid structure of grainy tannins and lively acidity, finishing with those glorious baking spice layers coming through.” $ 85; Mixed Case, 76.5; Case, 72.25
2015 Powell & Son • Brennecker Grenache "from Torbreck’s former Les Amis vineyard (planted in 1901 and dry grown), sports a medium ruby-purple color and exotic spice notes over baked raspberries, cherry cordial and dried herbs with suggestions of anise, roses and tar. Full-bodied, rich and opulent in the mouth, the palate is silken-textured with seductive flavor layers and wonderful poise, finishing long and spicy." $265 Net
2015 Powell & Son Shiraz Steinert Vineyard "from a small single vineyard with vines that are more than 120 years old in Barossa’s cooler Eden Valley, a deep garnet-purple color and very pretty red currants, black cherries and black raspberries notes, with touches of pepper and spice box plus fleeting wafts of roses. The medium to full-bodied palate is seriously intense, delivering ripe red berry and spice layers with a very long, perfumed finish. 200 cases were made. $545 Net
2015 Powell & Son Shiraz Kraehe; Color: very dark opaque, thick; Aroma: lifted very pure rather clean, sweet very pure, lightly herbal, lifted, fruity, lightly limned with oak; Mouth: thick rather dense chocolate coffee, smooth intense viscosity, very, very long, very fine; Outstanding - Superb
"From a tiny, one hectare, 110-year-old vineyard in Barossa ... "a deep garnet-purple color and profoundly scented nose of blackberry and blueberry preserves, dried plums and mulberries with salami and fertile earth undertones, plus hints of marmite toast, asphalt and licorice. The full-bodied palate packs in the flavor layers with the voluptuous fruit superbly framed by firm, rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with epic length. Give this sexy Shiraz another 2-3 years in bottle and drink it over the next 25+ years. 155 cases were made." $545 Net


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            - Len Rothenberg


(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2017