A beast: Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz 2009 (Langhorne Creek, SA)
15%, Screwcap, $50
|Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz. Biggun’|
If there is one thing that Langhorne Creek is good at it’s intensity. Intensity of tannins, intensity of colour, intensity of fruit richness and intensity of oak to match. That’s a stereotype of course, yet one I’d challenge you to argue against.
Mostly such a reputation is a good thing, particularly in the context of a wine market that equates quality with flavour density. Yet such density can also work against the wines too, with the recent movement towards more elegant, less oak driven reds ultimately rendering wines like this as old fashioned.
You can see such conflicts in this Shiraz actually for it is a wine that is both impressive for its concentration as well as burdened by it.
You can see such intensity by colour alone, the wine a deep, almost black red colour that just suggests off the scale beastliness. It certainly smells thick too, with a nose of sweetened, liqueured black fruit, and prunish edges, the ripeness of which points towards grapes picked very late (from a warm season) and further sweetened by chocolatey American oak.
Happily, It’s a fresher wine to taste though, the palate looking sweeter, softer and more generous than expected, particularly after a day in the decanter, with the finish punctuated by soft and grainy (somewhat oak derived) tannins.
In many ways this Old Adam Shiraz is exactly what it says it is – a massively concentrated and deep Langhorne Creek red that ripples with intensity, the heatwave vintage delivering a huge and beastly red that many will like. The question is, could it have been a better wine with the volume turned down a few notches? 17/90