Under-$20 Shiraz’s Finest Hour: The 2014 Bleasdale Bremerview
Wine Spectator’s 2017 March cover story “Rediscover Australia” falls squarely in line with what we’ve been saying — not only in recent weeks, but in recent years. “There’s a fresh energy in Australian wine,” the article states. “Today, winemakers are highlighting regionality, diversity, balance and elegance over extreme value or brute strength.” Never more so than in the superb 2013 vintage at Bleasdale, the oldest winery in Langhorne Creek, Australia.
Founded by Frank Potts in 1850, Bleasdale is Australia’s second-oldest family-run winery. Day-to-day operations remain in the hands of the Potts family — currently fifth and sixth-generation — while winemaker Paul Hotker manages 120 acres of estate production.
Old man Potts chose wisely when he felled the towering red gum trees of Langhorne Creek to make way for his vines. Just north of Lake Alexandrina in South Australia, Langhorne Creek is one of the country’s few cool-climate appellations. Tempered by the chilly winds off the lake, Langhorne Creek shares identical daytime temperatures with Margaret River, another premier growing area for high-acid Cabernet and Shiraz.
Shiraz berries black as night, grown on the ancient floodplains of the breezy, cool-climate Langhorne Creek, produced one of the greatest vintages of Bleasdale Vineyards Bremerview Shiraz in history. Australia’s top critic, James Halliday, gushed over a dark-fruited purity he said was “encased in a silken web of tannins,” rating it 96 points. The Australians have gone wild for it, with the 2014 Bleasdale Bremerview Shiraz taking home gold medals in three separate blind-tasting competitions: the National Wine Show of Australia, the Royal Adelaide Wine Show and the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.
The 2014 Bleasdale Bremerview Vineyard Shiraz is bright purple in the glass. Vibrant, highly perfumed black- and blue-fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of Indian spices and potpourri. Sweet, seamless, and concentrated but light on its feet, offering sappy blueberry and cassis flavors and hint of allspice. A very long, energetic, floral finish is framed by supple, harmonious tannins. Taking advantage of a perfect growing season, a long cold soak and a long post-fermentation maceration further concentrated the blueberry and cassis flavors, showing a touch of cinnamon spice and a dense blackberry preserve in the finish.
This suave, 96-point Shiraz delivers a remarkable value, showing the power and finesse of plenty of Shiraz bottlings that sell for two or three times the price. At $15.99 per bottle, we strongly recommend socking away a case (or two). Only 150 cases. Shipping included on 6 bottles or more.