There probably couldn’t be a more contrasting character to Peter Gago’s school master personality than that of the formidable Dave Powell, Torbreck’s loud, ebullient creator. Powell is a large physical presence with an equally large personality. If I was a farmer I’d describe him as a magnificent beast. Straight-talking, opinionated, passionate, occasionally crude, he is clearly a force of nature in the Barossa. Talking to him there’s a more than mischievous glint in his eye. It’s easy to imagine the hoot you’d probably have spending a night out on the tiles with Powell, though given his evident enthusiasm for a soiree you may well probably find yourself checked into A&E by morning.
Posts Tagged ‘Barossa’
As chief winemaker at Penfolds for a decade, responsible for Grange and the rest, Peter Gago holds unarguably one of the wine industry’s plum jobs. He’s also a master entertainer. I don’t think I’ve attended a wine tasting tutored by a more dynamic personality. Gago was constantly on the move, gliding up and down the floor of the ‘masterclass’ theatre at the London Wine Fair in May as if on stage at Wembley arena.
Don’t panic, rest easy. For those who invested heavily en primeur in Bordeaux 2009, either for their drinking pleasure, or to make a bob or two, I think your money’s safe. In Octover 2001 130 of Bordeaux’s finest chateaux, members of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, turned up as they do each year at London’s Royal Opera House showing their most recently bottled vintage. I don’t know about you but with all the hype and price controversy that surrounded this vintage on release it seems 2009 has been around for ages, certainly a lot longer than 24 months. Widely praised by many as one of the finest ever Bordeaux vintages, now that it’s finally in bottle, this vintage is still a delight. Never has there been such joy drinking young red Bordeaux at this age, nor for that matter its fabulous sweet Sauternes and Barsac. The whites from Pessac-Léognan and Graves, whilst maybe not having the freshness and delicacy of say 2010 or especially 2007, have generally developed well into big, full, spicy whites.
Last month I dug out a couple of mature South Australian reds to try – a bottle of ‘94 Penfolds Bin 389 and a ’95 Petaluma Coonawarra. I’ve been struck again and again by the ability of Aussie wines to age wonderfully, not just at the top end but also at the affordable level too [Wynns Black Label Cab immediately springs to mind] though obviously Bin 389 and Petaluma Coonawarra are at the more elevated end of the price spectrum. Australian longevity will come as no surprise to those down under, but there’s little mature stuff knocking about here, despite the importance of Oz wine in the UK. We buy it and we drink it, which is fair enough.