One of the first stops on my Barossa Valley itinerary was to Langmeil Winery (the Long Mile).
The cellar door is surrounded by perfectly manicured grounds and old wood and stone structures. The tasting room had a cozy old-world character. If I owned a winery, my tasting room would resemble Langmeil’s (but with a view of the hills). Unlike many other tasting rooms I’ve visited (namely here in the States), Langmeil’s tasting room staff practiced ‘inclusive tasting’ – wherein everyone talked to everyone else and everyone and all of the tasting room staff said hello to everyone that walked thru the door. (Editorial note – please ignore the many grammatical errors).
The land that Langmeil Winery now stands has a deep history dating back to 1838. The land was purchased by a 36 year old German blacksmith, Christian Auricht. He and his family arrived in South Australia in 1838 after emigrating from eastern-central Europe.
I tasted several excellent wines at Langmeil, a few of the notables include:
The 2006 The Freedom 1843 Shiraz
$100AU/bottle (~ $75US). This wine comes from Shiraz grapes in Langmeil’s first vineyard – a small block of grapes planted in 1843! These vines are thought to be the oldest surviving Shiraz vines in Australia. I was fortunate to get to taste this wine as they do not normally open this wine for tastings, but I just happened to be standing at the tasting bar beside a few old friends of the wine maker and they convinced him to open the bottle. I actually took two tastes of this one because it was so excellent. Deep purple color with a very complex nose of blackberry, blueberry, currant, clay (like that orange mountain dirt), and slight spice aroma. The mouth feel was very smooth with loads of dark fruit in the mouth. Look for this wine here in the States, a well balanced representation of Barossa Valley. This wine would be perfect with grilled buffalo burgers!
Overall my notes from this tasting experience were sketchy because I was chatting with the tasting room staff and the other tasters. Here are a few abridged notes:
Light gold color. Apricot syrup, peach. Very syrupy. Would go well with peach pie and vanilla ice cream. Still prefer some of my Virginia Viognier to this one.
2008 GCV Chardonnay
I only had a sad face beside this one which means I didn’t much like it at the time. L
2006 Shiraz Orphan Bank
This wine is made from 140 year old vines that were ‘rescued’ from a vineyard that was set for plowing to make room for housing. These vines were saved and transplanted and today are used to make the Orphan Bank Shiraz. Bright purple color (a little unusual) with fresh dark fruit. Plum and earth tastes. $50AU/bottle. ~$35US/bottle.
2007 Shiraz Valley Floor
Dark purple color with tinges of bright purple/pink edges. Heavy vanilla crème soda and blackberry aromas. $28.50AU/bottle. ~ $20US.
2006 Blacksmith Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark ruby color. Pepper, dark cherry and hints of blackberry. Strong tannins – needs more time. Big.
2006 Grenache Fifth Wave
Bright purple color. Plum and vanilla on the nose. Creamy mouth feel with a raspberry and vanilla cream finish.
Langmeil wines are distributed here in the United States by Negociants USA < http://www.negociantsusa.com >.