Imbibe – Chris Losh

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Dave Powell launches Powell & Son wines in UK
By Chris Losh

Dave Powell, the man behind the iconic Barossa winery, Torbreck, has burst back onto the UK wine scene with a new range of wines.

Made with his son Callum, the Powell & Son wines are Powell’s first since his bitter split with Torbreck’s American owner in 2013.

The range – available from Zonin UK – includes a Riesling and a GSM as well as a range of Shiraz – the variety with which Powell first made his name at Torbreck in the 1990s.

Numbers are small – total production for the 2016 vintage is only around 7,000 cases – and the UK allocation is described by Zonin UK as ‘tight’. Trade prices range from £24 for the Eden Valley Riesling through £39 for the Barossa and Eden Valleys Shiraz to £425 for the Steinert Flaxman’s Valley single-vineyard Shiraz.

Currently Powell does not own any vineyards. But rather than simply buying fruit in, he is operating long term leases with growers, whereby he pays vineyard owners a fee to work their vines himself.

‘It would be cheaper to buy the fruit in,’ admits Powell, ‘but it’s not the same thing. This way I have control. There’s not an accountant anywhere near the business.’

The majority of the fruit is sourced from the higher Eden Valley, which Powell believes gives the wines a more restrained character.

‘If you’re not careful the Barossa can be too much of everything,’ he says. ‘It’s about backing off and having a bit more class. These wines are a reflection of my experience – more about purity and finesse.’

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