With Richard Slater & Grant Foulkes
2019 Bleasdale Second Innings Malbec
Langhorne Creek, South Australia 14.0% RRP $22
“Bordeaux varieties” include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Commonly blended, few varietal Malbecs exist (Argentina and Cahors in France are exceptions). Bleasdale artfully produces several standalone Malbecs at very different prices (its sparkling Shiraz is worth trying too). The Langhorne Creek wine area is off the beaten track, and prices are restrained. This wine is a vibrant crimson colour, bursting with ripe plum, dark rose and violets, plus abundant peppery notes. It’s plush and packed with dark berry fruit flavours in a bucket of spices. Approachable already, it will reward a few years in the cellar (or cupboard). Finely balanced, generous flavours – especially dark raspberry – will hold attention over more than one glass. With the power to cut through a winter roast with vegies, a home-made hamburger, a chunky beef pie, or the standby lasagne, this wine will satisfy.
Conclusion: Experiment with Malbec! Keenly priced and over-delivers in the value (and flavour) stakes.
2017 Lindsay Wine Estate “Bull Fight” Tempranillo
Barossa Valley, South Australia 14% RRP $25
It’s truly fascinating (on a nerdy, wine science level) what happens to a wine as it ages; how the tannins soften, the oak integrates into the fruit and gains complex, tertiary, non-fruit characteristics. And the age old question of ‘when’ is the right time to crack open the bottle is repeatedly asked. The answer to this changes with every wine, and also with every wine drinker: it all depends on what you most love in a wine. That said, I was very surprised and delighted to find this tempranillo, at only 4 years old, had already garnered ample aged characteristics. If I was guessing, I’d have said it has at least a decade under its belt. A medium body, soft texture, wonderful integration and a length that seamlessly carries all the dark berry, soft spice, gentle mocha and classic cola characteristics; this is value at its very best. I was given this bottle by my good mate Josh from our neighbourhood sports bar ‘Chips Loft’ on Barkly St. and can certainly confirm, this drop makes for a wonderful gift.
Conclusion: Pair with slow cooked, smokey BBQ pork ribs. @grantfoulkes.