Powell & Son Kraehe Marananga Shiraz, Barossa Valley
Powell & Son (first vintage 2014) is the venture of Barossa Valley legend Dave Powell and his son Callum. The Kraehe vineyard is at 235m with eastern exposure on Marananga’s ironstone ridge. Its soils are red, ironstone-rich clays.
The wine is aged for two years in so-called ‘Magic Casks’, French oak barrels with staves double the normal thickness. Kraehe is the epitome of Barossa Valley Shiraz -- rich and generous in fruit: plum, dark cherry and blackberry, with smooth, powerful tannins and a mouth-coating palate. The style is intense, opulent and concentrated.
Kraehe Marananga Shiraz typically shows blueberry and plum fruits, attractive oak characters and great complexity -- ground coffee and mocha, meat, earth and dried herbs. The palate has layers of flavour -- blackberry compote and kirsch liqueur, wood smoke, cured meats and black olive -- through to the long finish.
"The wine comes from a vineyard that holds 110-year-old vines from Marananga parish in the Barossa, which for me, if sniffing out single vineyard wines outside of Flaxman’s, my pet favourite, is the second in line usually. The site was one of Dave Powell’s first, used since the early 1990s, and often found its way into top wines from That Other Winery’s wines he worked for. Interestingly, the wine is matured in new barrel, but not just any, indeed, in those produced by Burgundy superstar Dominique Laurent – some readers would have heard of these ‘magic casks’, barrels produced uniquely for, and in some respects by, Laurent. He selects his own trees, takes the best bits of those trees, matures the wood for four and a half years, and they are decidedly thicker than most barrels. These barrels are not sold widely, but do get bought by, Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Clos Mogador, Beau Freres in Oregon and Pingus… and Powell & Son.
Slips into the glass like midnight quicksilver. Polyphonic groans. The deep, dark colour says one thing, the perfume backs it up with its strong wave of dark, ripe forest berries, espresso scents, sweet earthiness, strong lathed wood notes, mocha, liqourice and char. Sound the fog horn. The palate is thick, sumptuous, layered and intense. A dark night of near molasses-textured dark fruits, woody spice, dried fruits and nuts with flickers of salt bush and anise. Paints the palate in thick ribbons of flavour, suede tannins chime in through its length, the finish is bold, strong, gummy. Serious stuff here, though the caveat is that the wood needs time to sink in."
95+ points, The Wine Front (July 2018)
"The 2016 Kraehe Shiraz comes from 110-year-old vines in Marananga. Like the Steinert Shiraz, it's aged in new barriques from Dominique Laurent, which give the wine attractive hints of pencil shavings and dried spices. On the palate, it's all blackberries and spice, full-bodied, plush and silky, with a never-ending finish and an extraordinary sense of grace and elegance."
98 points, Wine Advocate (September 2018)
"Another single vineyard masterpiece is the 2016 Shiraz Kraehe which comes from Maranaga region of the Barossa which is a slightly drier region, and this particular vineyard consists of red, iron-laced soils and vines upwards of 100 years in age. It has a more flamboyant, sexy style compared to the Steinert release and boasts a huge bouquet of black currants, raspberries, Asian spices, beef blood, and subtle graphite and classy oak. It’s deep, layered, and seamless on the palate, with full-bodied richness, plenty of underlying structure, awesome purity, and a singular character. This is another magical wine from this team of David Powell and his son Callum. It’s going to evolve for 20+ years as well."
98 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.