Wine review – Bleasdale, Geoff Merrill and Tahbilk

Bleasdale Frank Potts Langhorne Creek Cabernet Blend 2012 $26.60–$30
Bleasdale cabernet blend honours company founder and Langhorne Creek pioneer, Frank Potts. In 1858, Potts planted vines on the flood plain of the Bremer River, which runs through Langhorne Creek. The area’s mild maritime climate, produces outstanding cabernet, with a distinctive mid-palate fleshiness. Potts’s descendants demonstrate this deliciously in their Frank Potts blend of cabernet sauvignon (65 per cent), malbec (15 per cent), petit verdot (11 per cent), merlot (five per cent) and cabernet franc. While cabernet shapes the wine, the other varieties add greatly to the perfume, flavour volume and caressing, soft tannins.

Geoff Merrill McLaren Valle Bush Vine Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre 2010 $16.50–$25
With so many raw young 2013 reds arriving on the market, it’s satisfying to drink a maturing wine from the 2010 vintage. Three years’ bottle age adds mellow and savoury dimensions to Geoff Merrill’s appealing blend. Merrill says, “I love this wine because the grenache is taken from an 80-year-old dry-grown vineyard at Blewett Springs [a sub-region of McLaren Vale]”. The grenache gives perfume, mid-palate flesh and softness to this generous wine, based on rich, savoury McLaren Vale shiraz. The grippy backbone comes from the mourvedre component.

Tahbilk Nagambie Lakes Marsanne 2014 $11.95–$19.50
Tahbilk, the Purbrick family’s lovely old property on an anabranch of the Goulburn River, established marsanne long before Rhone Valley varieties became fashionable in Australia. Tahbilk marsanne drinks well and it takes on a golden, honeyed richness with age. The introduction of a screw cap from 2002, and a brightening of the fruit character in the last decade, makes it bright and lovely for current drinking and a safer cellaring bet than ever. The 2014 offers distinctive citrus and passionfruit-like flavours and a distinctive full, dry palate.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2014
First published:

  • 25 October 2014 in
  • 26 October 2014 in the Canberra Times