Massive red that's chockers with big flavours of black cherry, damson, black tea, smoky oak and gunflint. Rich and minerally in texture, with a coffee bean sheen, smooth tannins and a long, complex finish.
Should be decanted for 4-12 hours.
"This is right in the heart of medium-bodied shiraz, black cherry, plum and blackberry fruits encased in a silken web of tannins, and a fleeting glimpse of French oak. Yes, it's $20. 96 points. To 2030."
- James Halliday, 2017 Australian Wine Companion.
To put this score in context, 96 points is normally the preserve of $60-100 (about €40-70) wines, defined by Halliday himself as "Outstanding; wines of gold medal standard, usually with a great pedigree." Bleasdale have only been making wines since 1850 so I guess that covers the pedigree part.
We'd strongly recommended extended decanting for this one. We found the wine quite tight initially and much more impressive and reflective of its score on the second day. Alternatively, lay it down for a year or two and we anticipate it will develop further - Halliday suggests up to 13 years more cellaring so there's plenty of development time to come here.
Langhorne Creek is a mostly-red wine region, south of Adelaide, where Cabernet and Shiraz make up 85% of plantings. Much of the region’s fruit disappears into multi-regional blends for Wolf Blass, Jacob’s Creek and other big brands. Langhorne is an extension of the productive Big Rivers Zone, and what would otherwise be a very warm climate is moderated by nearby Lake Alexandria, Gulf of Saint Vincent and Southern Ocean.
Bleasdale founder Frank Potts arrived in South Australia in 1836 and was attracted to Langhorne Creek by its deep red soils and big gum trees. He initially planted 12 hectares of Shiraz and Verdelho, and also constructed a weir and channel system to use the River Bremer to flood-irrigate his vineyards. Today's Bremerview vineyards are still planted on the banks of the Bremer, and still rely on periodic flooding for vine watering.
South Australians Bleasdale are technically "new world" but they've been around a while: they're Australia's second-oldest wine family, have been making wine for 166 years/six generations, and boast a 3.5 tonne red gum press (grape squasher thingie) that was built in 1892 - respect!