Recently Brisbane’s modern wine bar scene suffered a member celebrating its first birthday.
There was lunch for the big red crowd. Barossa’s artisanal smallgoods with a hefty hint of Barossa Deutsch traits started the scene with an unusual aperitif wine.
This was low alcohol (10.5%), residual sugar riesling (22 g/L) from the Eden Valley (Live Wire RieslingUSD 20), light, appley, crisp, easily destroyed with Linke’s smoked meats, but cleansing.
I enjoyed Langmeil’s Hanging Snakes Shiraz2009 14% (USD 20) just because it was modern; today’s drink with a dash of white viognier to lighten the taste, freshen and make the wine accessible to more people not seeking “blokey” shiraz.
However, as half of the lunch audience were female, I got the feeling they were attending to drink the “blocky wines” such as Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz 2009, 14.5% (USD 30), a huge wine with oak char and sweetness, cleverly added from American oak barrels.Langmeil’s Orphan Block Shiraz2008 14.5% (USD 50) always enthuses me as it contains some 100 y-o vine fruit from a block that was about to be consumed by local housing in 2000. The vines were transplanted: 500 were taken and 380 survived, and history preserved.
The blend also contains some Eden Valley shiraz grapes of equivalent age and origin.
Langmeil’s great claim to fame is a vineyard thought to be the oldest shiraz vineyard in the world -1843. Let others try to claim the mantle. Any older?
Langmeil 1843 Freedom Shiraz2008 14.5% (USD 105) is true to its bones; big, syrupy-ripe grapes though departing from its younger shiraz brothers with more drying tannin; suffered from aging a long time in new French barrels which cause this drying sensation.
If it gets you down, just eat, and the savoury effects of this wine then consume your palate instead, and that’s just the residual flavour hanging around. A wine with intrigue and interest.
Langmeil in Deutsch means Long Mile.
Peter Scudamore-Smith is a Brisbane-based Master of Wine, winemaker and educator www.uncorkedandcultivated.com.au
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