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Langhorne Creek Cabernet wins leading Australasian wine award

Primary Industries

A CABERNET Sauvignon from Langhorne Creek in South Australia has topped a field of 10,000 wines from Australia and New Zealand to be named Winestate Wine of the Year 2016.

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The award, presented to Lake Breeze Wines for its Arthur's Reserve Langhorne Creek Cabernet Petit Verdot Malbec 2012 yesterday in Adelaide, is the second time the South Australian winery has taken out the award after winning in 2010 with its 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.

This year’s winning wine is Cabernet Sauvignon (86 per cent) blend with small amounts of Petit Verdot (9 per cent) and Malbec (5 per cent) selected from 40-

50 year old vines from the Follett family’s own vineyards on the Langhorne Creek flood plain.

Small open fermenters were used with maceration times varying from 8 to12 days.

The wine was then aged in French Oak for 21 months.

The resultant wine shows classic blackcurrant aromas with violets, mint and savoury characters. The palate has great depth and silkiness and shows wonderful intensity and length of flavour.

Retailing for about $40 a bottle, only 275 cases of the wine was made and Lake Breeze Winemaker Greg Follett expects to sell out of the 2012 by Christmas or shortly after. 

“The good news is that the 2013 has already won a trophy in Sydney for the best blend of the show so it’s proving to be a consistent wine from year to year,” he said.

“It’s one of our better performed wines and certainly the 2012 vintage was hugely successful for us for Cabernet in particular.

“The result is fantastic for us. There’s not too many wine awards these days where the phone starts ringing and you get an automatic boost in sales but having said that, we’ve already fielded a few inquiries and we don’t have a huge amount of stock.”

The family-owned winery is approaching its 30th vintage and produces about 20,000 cases of wine a year, predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

Follett said the award was also recognition of the Langhorne Creek region 65km southeast of Adelaide, which was sometimes overlooked in favour of its higher-profile neighbours, McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley.

“Within the industry it’s fairly well-known and regarded but to the general public we fly under the radar a bit because we’re spoilt for wine regions here in South Australia,” he said.

“We’ve certainly been punching above our weight in the wine shows for years, so the quality has always been here.”

Each year Winestate evaluates around 10,000 wines in 12 categories from all regions in Australia and New Zealand using an audited and independent judging process.

Winestate Publisher Peter Simic said the awards used the toughest peer reviewed blind judging methods where less than 5 per cent of wines reached the final stage, making a Winestate Medal truly deserved.

“To be the overall winner the wine has to be head and shoulders above its peers in that category compared with the winning wines in other categories. In this case the Lake Breeze Lake Breeze Arthur's Reserve 2012 stood above all others,” he said.

South Australian winemaker Shavaughn Wells, of Saltram, won Australian Winemaker of the Year.

Iconic Barossa Valley winery Wolf Blass was named Australian Wine Company of the Year.

Winestate is one of Australasia’s most respected wine magazines.

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