The loveliness of Langhorne Creek. Sumptuous, rich, sweet, succulent, complex, flavoursome, delicious, moreish. These are thoughts that spring to mind when I think of the wines of Langhorne Creek in a a good vintage. This 2004 Lake Breeze Cab Sauv had not been tried for a couple of years; a revelation ensued.
Colour is deep inky red with a touch of purple still on the rim.
The nose is all rich and plush, plenty of spicy and creamy vanillin oak, with chocolate, blackcurrants and plums.
The palate is a mirror of the above, and feels medium to full bodied despite it’s 14.5% alcohol. It is a voluptuous wine, really rich, and with a quality coating of fine and solid tannins. The finish is long and plush and you do feel the alcohol as it slips by.
The bottle is festooned with trophies and medals, however is the antithesis of it’s fine boned namesakes from say, Margaret River. But that takes nothing away from the wine; it’s just different and no less likeable.
The wine is made by Greg Follett, a real character and lovely man, whose family have been farming in Langhorne Creek for more than 100 years. Surprising to many, this is one of the most fragile wine growing areas in Australia; down near Lake Alexandrina, the rainfall is pitifully low and unreliable, and access to water is difficult. In a year when the stars align, Langhorne Creek will produce some of the most intriguing and best value wines in Australia.
When you remember that this wine was purchased for well under $20 you begin to understand what a true bargain this is. Now nearly 10 years old the wine is still in perfect condition and developing beautifully.
I have not done yet myself, but I would suggest trying this with a fillet of kangaroo with redcurrant jus and roasted beetroot, I have three bottles left of the 2004, and that is what will accompany the next bottle.
If you are a student of Australian wine, look into the wineries of Langhorne Creek; it’s a small area so not hard to get to know the main players there. All the wines are a vinous bargain and most are readily available in the major retailers. You need to remember however, that Langhorne Creek suffers more than most from any vintage vagaries; heat wave in 2008, floods in 2011 are two recent tragic events. But the star winemakers of the region, like Greg Follett, will either make smaller amounts of wine in difficult years, or they won’t make it at all.
Get some Langhorne Creek love in a bottle and see what I mean.