By John Rozentals.
Rebecca and Lucy Willson, who between them run South Australia’s Bremerton, are like most pairs of clever sisters.
They see pretty much eye-to-eye on the important things — in this case about running a business, producing stunning wines and having a good time — and have splendidly entertaining disagreements around the edges.
They’re lucky in a couple of ways.
They inherited a solid business from wine-loving parents, and that business was in Langhorne Creek, near enough to Adelaide to be accessible to markets, remote enough to disappear into when required, and smack bang in the middle of a great wine region.
But they have also made their own luck by making their wines and the business sing their own song.
Rebecca, the elder, has adapted skilfully to winemaking, while Lucy seems a natural at management … girls just want to have fun, make some stunning wine, and run a successful business.
In short, I love their wines and I love their approach to life.
Bremerton 2014 Walter’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($56): A powerful, elegant red wine dominated by blackberry notes and some delightful French oak. Will reward cellaring and probably needs it to show anywhere near its best — a decade or so at least. Then drink with a richly flavoured lamb roast. Sorry, no cheapies this time around.
Sandalford 2017 1840 Shiraz ($50): Sandalford may source most of its fruit from Margaret River these days but it certainly isn’t letting go of its Swan Valley origins in the nineteenth century on Caversham Estate. Fittingly, this is quite an old-fashioned red with richness and earthiness the twin keys. Look for spicy red fruits and gentle, quite soft tannins, and drink with hearty cold-weather tucker.
WINE OF THE WEEK
Bremerton 2015 Old Adam Shiraz ($56): Rebecca makes such good booze I’ll even forgive her for having me search the kitchen draw for an old-fashioned corkscrew to open her rightly vaunted benchmark. This solid, robust wine shows just how good and how contemporary Langhorne Creek shiraz can be, with great depth of spicy flavour and the makings of a great match for the best char-grilled steak.