Powell & Son Barossa Valley Roussanne Marsanne
Powell & Son (first vintage 2014) is the venture of Barossa Valley legend Dave Powell and his son Callum. They first made their Roussanne-Marsanne blend in 2016 from vines planted in the late 1990s. The wine was fermented using indigenous yeasts, the Roussanne in stainless steel, the Marsanne in French oak barrels (50% new) with batonnage and full malolactic fermentation. The two components are blended just prior to bottling: the Roussanne providing the aromatic fruit profile and acid balance and the Marsanne adding palate structure and richness.
The wine typically shows notes of butterscotch, honeyed citrus, stone fruit, white florals and apricot kernel. The palate has a creamy phenolic texture, stonefruit and honey flavours, and lemony acid to maintain the long finish. The wine finishes with subtle savoury characters and persistent phenolics driving to the end of the palate.
"The past saw marsanne in some new oak, the roussanne not, and the wine a feat of blending rather than co-fermenting. Layering in the detail. The total new oak is 20% but you’d hardly know aside some textural elements that might trigger something in you. It feels like a fine wine from the get-go, is the other message.
Slippery texture, a touch of gras with cool melon and ripe apple scents and flavours the mainstays. It shows sniffs and licks of nougat-halva too, a well-rolled-in seasoning of oak and lees time. Length is excellent, the wine feels like it stains the palate but finds some velocity to tighten up and go lightly-nutty-bitter to close, way-way away. Medium weight white of high interest and drinkability, is the takeaway."
94 points, The Wine Front (July 2018)
"A blend of 60% Roussanne (fermented and aged in steel) and 40% Marsanne (fermented and aged in barrique), the 2017 Roussanne-Marsanne features scents of toasted almond, pineapple and melon. It's medium to full-bodied, plush and rich without being heavy or oily. There's a honeyed note on the finish, but that's balanced by a lively dose of lime. I'd drink this in the next few years."
92 points, Wine Advocate (September 2018)
"The 2017 Roussanne Marsanne is mostly Roussanne yet includes 30% Marsanne, brought up in a mix of barrel and stainless steel. It has a Beaucastel Blanc-like bouquet of white peach, flower oil, honeysuckle, and hints of licorice to go with a powerful, concentrated, thrillingly pure profile on the palate. With terrific acidity, flawless balance, and a great finish, it’s a beautiful, serious Rhone white. I’d drink it over the coming 2-4 years but certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see it keep longer."
94 points, Jeb Dunnuck (February 2019)
Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.