Wine regions - Langhorne Creek
Langhorne Creek Tasting Note
This is a fragrant and spicy wine with berry, plum and pepper and vanillin overlays. Rich and fleshy with dry tannins and generous body it has matured in French oak for 14 months. A fabulous drink-now wine that will develop complexity if cellared for several years.
Langhorne Creek South Australia
Langhorne Creek is a little known region with major importance, especially for the production of red wine. Fragrant Cabernet Sauvignon with its minty overtones is the most significant product of the region.
Natural flooding of vineyards at Bleasdale Winery
Langhorne Creek Region, within the Fleurieu Zone is just south of Adelaide. Lake Alexandria marks its southern edge and the vineyards extend 40 km north to the township of Langhorne Creek.
The region features Lake Alexandria, Australia's largest permanent
freshwater lake and a natural flood plain, the soil of which is
fine, fertile and deep, having been deposited by the Bremer and
Angus rivers over aeons, thus making it a very good region for horticultural
production in general.
In the past decade vineyard plantings have increased significantly on ground above the flood plain. These vineyards use drip and sub-surface irrigation, playing a major role in the region's water and environmental management system. The vineyards within the flood plain continue to utilise natural floodwaters through a controlled system of flood gates. These waters are an important source of nutrients.
The climate is characterised by low winter-dominant rainfall and, due to the cooling breezes from the lake, moderate daytime temperatures during the growing season. This feature gives Langhorne Creek recognition as an ideal viticultural area.
Viticulture dates from the 1850s when Frank Potts established Bleasdale the region's only winery to stay in continuous production. The region was kicked started again by Wolf Blass and Lindemans and over the past ten years a number of big players have established vineyards there.
The boutique wineries in the region are also putting Langhorne Creek on the international wine map. Casa Freshci with its premimum red blends, Cabernet Sauvignon from Bremerton, and Shiraz from Lake Breeze and Brothers in Arms. They are just four of the stars from a growing constellation that includes Raydon Estate, Oddfellows, Angas Plains, Cleggett and the organic wine producer Temple Bruer.
Key grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay and Verdelho. In recent years, Sangiovese and Grenache have strongly featured in the region's wines
Langhorne Creek is also the home of a rare mutation of Cabernet Sauvignon. Cleggett Wines has planted a few hectares of the white grape (Shalistin) and bronze grape (Malian). These are rare sports (vines) which make the novelty white and light red styles of Cabernet Sauvignon.
For the wine enthusiast there are cellars doors, some excellent eateries and a number of events held annually including, Jazz on the Bremer in April; Winemakers Showcase in May; Winemakers Art Exhibition in September and Vigneron's Cup Race Day in November. Other attractions include sailing and birdwatching.
Harvest time: late March to late April
Vintage Report 2010
It was an early start to vintage at Langhorne Creek, though on average for the latter part of this decade, with the action kicking off at the end of January. Heat in November impacted fruit set in an otherwise excellent season, warmer than average with moderate conditions during ripening and low disease pressure. It was a well paced harvest without the winery intake pressures seen in years prior. The majority of the region's harvest was concluded by early April.
Yields were low across most varieties with the exception of Shiraz. The district produced some high quality Chardonnay and Verdelho though demand for Chardonnay left small portions hanging. Consumers can look forward to excellent Shiraz and Malbec from the 2010 vintage and parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon to rival the outstanding intake from 2009.
The 2010 Langhorne Creek wine grape harvest has been one of low yields with a number of highlights and a very strong middle tier in terms of wine quality. Early indications show wines with finesse and structure in their youth promising great things in years to come.
With profits marginal at best for many this year, the fruit and wine quality, reputation and value of product from the region has Langhorne Creek well placed to receive reward in the years to come.
Jazz + wine + food = fun amongst the gums
along the banks of the Bremer River.
Langhorne Creek Wine Industry Council
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