Bleasdale: The awesome Australian Malbec & more (3/3)

This month we’re celebrating over 160 years of unbroken winemaking history. Direct from Langhorne Creek, every Irish wine drinker now has access to one of the most exciting range of wines Australia has to offer. Our range from Bleasdale is on offer until the end of January.


Like Shiraz, Muscadelle and Frontignac, Verdelho comes from a fortified bloodline. The Portuguese varietal comes from the island of Madeira and is responsible for the wine of the same name. Planted at Bleasdale in the early 1920s it contributed to the company’s renowned white fortifieds through the 40s and 50s.

Planted on loam and sandy loam soils, Verdelho is harvested for table wine in early to mid February, generally with approximately 8-9 grams total acidity aiming for a finished wine with around 7 grams TA. Alcohol levels average between 12.5% – 13%.

Langhorne Creek Verdelho has citrus and tropical fruit characters often with a hint of snow pea. It is preferably consumed young but stills drinks well up to 2-3 years.

The 2009 Potts Catch Verdelho has lifted fruit salad, strong melon flavours and a clean zippy palate.


A Bordeaux native (but increasingly the province of Cahors in South West France and New World Argentinian vineyards), Malbec was first planted at Bleasdale in 1961 and was the base for the first table wine produced under the Bleasdale label.

Malbec is traditionally difficult to grow as it often sets badly. Ripening is unpredictable and highly dependent on crop load and vine balance. However, when it has a full crop the quality tends to improve rather than weaken through vintage which means harvest can take place anytime between February and April.

At Bleasdale Malbec is generally harvested slightly over ripe rather than under ripe, which can lead to lightly herbal flavours, a factor of high variability within vine and bunch. Langhorne Creek Malbec has a rich plummy aroma and tends to show strong boysenberry fruit flavours and a full middle palate offset by slightly bitter tannins, which is intrinsic to the variety.

The 2009 Second Innings Malbec shows vibrant primary fruit flavours of plums, red berries and spices, finishing soft and round with velvety smooth tannins.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in Langhorne Creek date back to the 1890s – it is considered to be one of the first regions in Australia to plant the Bordeaux variety.

Langhorne Creek Cabernet is grown on various soil types from floodplain silts and loams to clays and limestone. At Bleasdale it is generally harvested in late March to early April when the fruit is consistently ripe and showing good natural acidity.

In their youth Bleasdale Cabernets display a slight potpourri aroma but as they age they tend to lean towards the ripe herbal rather than green capsicum spectrum typical of cooler climates. Wines from excellent vintages should age gracefully for 20 years.

The 2006 Frank Potts is rich and full on the palate, the Cabernet (76%) showing big notes of chocolate and the Malbec (21%) giving ripe plummy fruit.


Bleasdale was the first winery to plant Shiraz in Langhorne Creek in the 1920s. The best Langhorne Creek Shiraz comes from vineyards planted on tight clay soils with a limestone influence.

Shiraz is generally harvested from late February through to March. Bleasdale seeks grapes with reasonable natural acidity and the results are aromatic wines with blackberry and spice on the nose and a rich full palate of ripe plums.

The 2008 Generations Shiraz has massive ripe fruit, rich black plum flavours and intense dark berry fruits. It takes a while to open up, but will easily travel to the end of the decade. Plenty of chewy tannin, but not bitter or excessively astringent, a big but balanced wine.

What the critics had to say

Bleasdale produces some of the most reliable as well as fairly priced wines – Robert Parker Jnr.

Good reds at very good prices. Bleasdale keeps on keeping on. – Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh

This is a serious bottle of red bubbles that romps over many at double its price – Tyson Stelzer reporting on the Sparkling Shiraz.

An outstanding winery capable of producing wines of the highest calibre – James Halliday.

The Potts’ in Langhorne Creek never did things by halves. The 120 year old, hand-sawn red gum lever press in the Bleasdale cellar weighs 3.5 tons, is 15 metres long and stands 7 metres high. Makes today’s modern winery machinery look like a Lego set.

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