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 ‘Shiraz’
Wine Australia’s Barossa Valley ‘Winemaking of the Decades’ masterclass was one of the highlights of this year’s London Wine Fair. Hosted by James March, of the Barossa Grape and Wine Association the panel featured winemakers Ben Glaetzer [Glaezter/Heartland Wines], Matt Gant [First Drop] and Toby Barlow from St Hallett. The wines demonstrated the ability of Barossa Shiraz blends to age gracefully into silky, cashmere old age. Two fascinating tawny ports were shown, the Saltram Rare Vintage Tawny 1959 being an absolute stunner.
Inspired by tasting some old Aussie Coonawarra Cabernets at the London Wine Fair I decided to have a look at a few older bottles of red from Penfolds that I’ve squirreled away over the years from the 1998 and 1996 vintages. Tasting the wines reminded me just how wonderfully these wines can age as well as what terrific vintages ‘96 and ‘98 were in South Australia.
Despite the perception that the country has in recent years lost out to South Africa and the combined forces of Chile and Argentina as the world’s cutting edge wine making powerhouse, Australia remains one of the most exciting places to make wine. Partly it’s because it is a unique place – the country is huge with some of the most diverse terrior in the world – but also importantly because of the open-mindedness and energy of the Aussie wine makers themselves – especially when you get amongst the privately owned wineries.