Powell & Son Steinert Flaxman’s Shiraz, Eden Valley
Powell & Son (first vintage 2014) is the venture of Barossa Valley legend Dave Powell and his son Callum. The Steinert vineyard is located in the hills of the Eden Valley’s Flaxman’s Valley and is home to some of the most prized vines of the Barossa -- dry-grown, rod and spur pruned, and planted before the turn of the 19th century.
The 2ha vineyard faces north-east on dark quartzitic loam soils at 480m. The vines experience a long, cool ripening period, producing fruit with outstanding accumulation of complex flavours and elegant, powerful tannins. Fruit is hand-picked in three separate passes and fermented traditional open-top concrete vats and pump overs. The wine is then racked and basket-pressed for gentle extraction of tannin, then transferred to new Dominique Laurent barriques for natural malolactic fermentation followed by 18 months maturation before bottling without fining or filtration.
The Steinert’s complex perfume combines dried herbs and spices, lifted florals, dark cherries, red currants, charcuterie meats and wood-smoke. The palate is supple, framed by fine-grained tannins and typically offers dark fruits with thyme, lavender, cedar and cloves, finishing with plentiful soft, powdery tannins.
Lush stuff. So serious, so bold, so rich, so much of everything. That being said, the length, the poise even with heft, the luxurious tannin, the potency and detail are formidable here. It’s not quite to the 2016 elevation, but geez, it’s convincingly close. Dark berries, mahogany wood, new leather, clove-cinnamon spice dusted over the choc-mocha sweetness with panforte nutty-fruity sweet-savouriness and all of that in compact layers and layers. Epic! A memorable wine.
96 points, The Wine Front (December 2020)