Bleasdale's Senior Winemaker Paul Hotker is James Halliday’s Winemaker of the Year 2018. The magnificent fruit for Bleasdale’s Powder Monkey comes from Hotker's finest Shiraz block, directly behind the winery – the oldest in Langhorne Creek.
Powder Monkey is named in honour of a young Frank Potts who, at age nine, joined the British Royal Navy as a powder monkey – diminutive crew members charged with carrying gunpowder during battle. Later, in 1850, an older and wiser Frank Potts would found the first winery in Langhorne Creek.
Open-fermented, 15% whole berries, short cold soak, 9-12 on skins, matured for 12 months in French oak (27% new), two gold medals. Deep crimson-purple; resplendent in its generosity with plum and blackberry leading the juicy fruits, licorice, spice and soft tannins all singing the same song.
95 points, James Halliday (January 2016)
Single vineyard wine from the block behind the Bleasdale winery. 12 days on skins before going into all-French oak.
Distinctive shiraz. Langhorne Creek is renowned for its super reliability, both in quality and flavour profile, but this sheds the jacket and unbuttons the shirt. It puts on a characterful display. It’s all graphite and cloves, woodsmoke and aged meats, but it’s not a victory for style over substance: there’s plenty of ripe berried fruit, and peppers too. You get what you came for and a bit extra besides. As a result it’s a little more polarising than you normally expect of a red from this region, but that’s not a bad thing. At all.
94 points, Campbell Mattinson (November 2016)
Traces of purple in the deep red colour. The bouquet is developing and is savoury and earthy, quite complex, with some meaty undertones and a lick of spice. It's intense and tightly packed, elegantly framed and full-bodied, with some thickness and a touch of chew on the aftertaste. Very good.
93 points, Huon Hooke (January 2017)
Vines were first planted in Langhorne Creek, south of Adelaide, by Frank Potts soon after the establishment of Bleasdale in 1850. The region is a large, broad, sparsely-populated plain watered by the Bremer and Angas rivers. It was named after Alfred Langhorne, a drover who crossed the Bremer River at a place that became known as Langhorne's Crossing. The name evolved to become Langhorne Creek. A cool, maritime region with deep, fertile, alluvial soils, Langhorne Creek is best known for medium to full bodied red wines made, in particular, from shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and malbec. Reliable quality and volume has made it a favoured source for major producers and much of the region’s large crop goes to make wines that are not specifically identified with the region.