A lusciously-indulgent fortified wine that is forward and generous, with beautiful aromas of toffee, fruitcake, creamy coffee, vanilla and grilled nuts. Expressive, exotic and long, with a deliciously sweet, spirity finish. Amazing stuff!
Superb after-dinner treat or partner for richer desserts. Lightly chill.
This is a ‘rancio’ style wine, where the maturing wine has been exposed to heat and oxygen (as in Spain's DO Montilla-Moriles and France's ACs Maury and Banyuls). The Wise One was matured in small, old casks placed just under the winery’s hot tin roof for ten years. Wines of this style are sometimes called ‘maderized’, after Madeira, which develops in a similar way.
Tawnies are aged for variable periods, sometimes decades, in wood. As a Tawny oxidizes in cask, the colour slowly changes from purple to a lighter amber-brown. Tawny - or wood Ports - last a long time once opened as they have already been stabilised by oxidation experienced during their long spell of barrel rest. They don’t need to be decanted as, again, their solids have already precipitated out during ageing.
Frank Potts, an immigrant from England, founded Bleasdale in 1850, and six generations later his descendants form the second-oldest wine family in Australia (after Yalumba.) The name comes from a local Reverend, Ignatius Bleasdale, who advocated a “sober, wine-drinking community that excludes ardent spirits.” An anti-temperance priest suited Frank's ironic sense of humour, so he immortalised him in his winery. Top wine critic Robert Parker is a Bleasdale fan, noting that it “produces some of the most reliable, fairly-priced wines around."
In 2018, Bleasdale winemaker Paul Hotker was named James Halliday's Australian Winemaker of the Year, the first time a winemaker from the Langhorne Creek wine region has been selected for the coveted award.
Langhorne Creek is a productive region in South Australia that all of the Aussie wine giants source from to avail of the reliably ripe, clean fruit. Situated on a flood plain that is well supplied with irrigation water from the Mount Lofty Ranges (a huge advantage in this arid continent), it is cooled by breezes that blow off the Southern Ocean and Lake Alexandria, giving a temperate, long growing season.