First, a brief comment, and then the wine, which is a good one. This wine is from Langhorne Creek in South Australia. Langhorne Creek is to me a wine region that appears on labels, overtures are sometimes made as to the typicity of its terroirs in terms of what’s in the bottle, yet I don’t quite feel that its terroir is given the recognition and exploration it deserves. In this sense, the overtures can resemble study notes with headings, but no text beneath.
In terms of location, Langhorne Creek sits south east of Adelaide on the northern shores of Lake Alexandrina, inland from the Southern Ocean. The region is warm, albeit cooled by southerly winds. Rainfall is sparse (with long term rainfall of the region of only around 300mm) and irrigation is routinely practiced. The soils are mostly fertile, deep, alluvial sandy loams, and the topography is mostly flat. Salinity appears an issue. It also appears primarily the domain of large company mechanised viticulture, with approximately 6,000 hectares planted to vines. From an international point of view, these are facts more akin to a bulk wine producing region, than a fine wine region. Yet, the region can produce very good wine, and has a long history of doing just that. Terroir is a complicated master.
Heartland is made by Ben Glaetzer, and its website reveals it to be a blend of shiraz from Langhorne Creek (86%) and the Limestone Coast (14%). I thought the wine was pretty good, and was particularly pleased that the oak was well handled, allowing the fruit to sing in an unforced way. This is a juicy wine with aromatics of licorice, ripe plums and blackberry. The palate is tasty, with ripe, fruit driven flavours of plum and blackberry. A great value wine.
1. Wine Australia: http://www.wineaustralia.net.au/en-PH/australia-archive/langhorne-creek.aspx.
2. J Halliday, The Australian Wine Encyclopaedia (Hardie Grant, 2009).
3. Langhorne Creek Wine Region: http://www.langhornecreek.com/images/maps-brochures/Langhorne_Creek_Information_Booklet.pdf.