Now people---lemme tell you, in case you was wondering, what's so damn cool about being part of Austin's wine-n-food community: chance meeting with big players in the wine world who, regardless of the price thier bottles command in the marketplace, turn out to be right fun fellows.
So I stroll into Wink wine bar tonight, feeling a little down, knowing instinctively that my evening will be improved by this act. And I meet up with a couple of distributor buddies of mine who're spending the evening with Dave Powell of Torbreck. You've heard of Torbreck, right?
In case not, check out the site, and the interactive vineyard map, specifically. It's great wine dork porn.
Dave Powell is genial and generous with an infectious streak of ribald in his humor. He loves what he does, and loves sharing what he knows. Round about the time we were into the bottle of The Steading, a grenache/mataro (mourvedre)/shiraz blend, Dave was trying to find a way to compare the headiness of this wine to...well, to...aromatics of a feminine nature. Not sure how far he could take it in front of the women present, I said it for him. This led to a toast to Wines That Smell Sexy, and not one of us was offended.
Dave's is the kind of hands-in-the dirt labor of love story that will charm your pants off. The development of the Barossa valley in general is that kind of story, full of people who love the elegance and power of Rhone style wines.
Each has a powerful presence without being overly extracted, and the way the Steading conjures exotic spices at the end was enough to make me rethink my aversion to oak. These are wines that I might never have tasted otherwise, especially the flagship bottle RunRig, which sells upwards of $140 retail.
"$140?!?" you say. Well, me too. I'm not in the financial bracket for that kind of price tag, and if you are, you're probably not reading this blog. But if you are and you're looking for something unique from a true bad-ass winemaker, yeah, throw it down.
(photo ripped off the Torbreck site)