Winery: Bleasdale (The Potts Family)
Region: Langhorne Creek, SA
The Bleasdale is the best value sparkling shiraz. Ever.
(Well, perhaps only until I review to Oomoo which I got super cheap).
So you wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s a dark cherry purple-red, and held to light looks like mulberry cordial. It’s smells a bit like the D’arenberg Peppermint Paddock; port, berries and leather, all of which are warmly welcomed. It has a very fine effervescence that is well-suited to it’s medium-body.
It’s porty (not too much so), with tart berries and sour cherry, with a sweetness to start, which morphs to off-dry as the tannins begin to grip. Let the chill wane a bit if you prefer the sweeter and jammier presence to come to the fore.
Well-worthy of a higher price tag, this sparkling shiraz is dangerously good. Prima facie, it’s dark, foreboding, and certainly not salubrious, though the longer you go with it, a certain humour begins to subvert that theme. 4/5.
Breaking Bad is my favourite show on television (you can catch it on Showtime and ABC2 in Australia). The central premise is this (from Wikipedia):
Set and produced in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Breaking Bad is the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at the beginning of the series. He turns to a life of crime, producing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), with the aim of securing his family’s financial future before he dies.
It’s bleak. It’s dark. It’s also, for anyone with a sense of gallows humour, utterly hilarious.
BB has deservedly received widespread critical acclaim. The writing, cinematography, directing and acting are sublime. For those who haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil anything, but the personal trajectory of Walter White across the seasons (the show is about the enter it’s fifth and final season) is arguably as close-to-a-perfectly written and executed character exposition that’s been filmed for television. Ever.
BB is also a fine example of why American made-for-cable TV drama is far and away the current top purveyor of sophisticated popular entertainment. Incidentally, I suspect in this particular instance part of it’s appeal (to me, at least) is that an otherwise ‘over the top’ scenario is actually made remarkably plausible by the institutional failures in American political economy (i.e. health care system, poorly funded education, the war on drugs) that underpin the show. This aspect is probably a conversation for another day; I will, however, add that none of these institutional factors are laboured in the show, nor are the characters and their decisions playing out some kind of morality play, and that’s a very subtle form of genius at work.
Not in the mood? I had the Hay Shed Hill Margaret River 2009 Shiraz Tempranillo at my In-laws’ house over dinner with them and my wife. I picked some up a week or two later for under $15. And for that price, it’s great value. Plump and juicy with a bit of spice. Yummy.
(NB I had toyed with the idea that a blend like this could be made into sparkling wine).
90 points from Halliday, 4/5 from Taste.com.au and an “Excellent Value. Highly Recommended” from Winewise. I concur!