Bleasdale are perhaps the only Australian winery willing to tackle the Argentinians head on, in the game of larger scale, single-varietal sun-drenched malbec. Although Bleasdale's previous release (2008-86pts) strayed too far into ripe, jammy, basic BBQ red territory, over the years they've proven more than capable of delivering genuinely varietal malbec under the right conditions, at a very competitive price.
Bleasdale's 2009 does present a faint floral scent common to malbec, but its nose is more defined by ripe, jammy accents, with a raisin-like, meaty dark fruit component touched by some rather smoky secondhand oak. Opening with medium-weight and a marginal suppleness, the palate slides quickly into the same spectrum as the nose, revealing slightly baked, astringent dark fruit and earth characters coated in smoky oak, before finishing quite mineral, rough and rustic, in a spiky and drying fashion which isn't exactly elegant, but it could be worse.
X Although far from perfect, Bleasdale's 2008 was still a juicy, easy drinking quaffer of a malbec. Unfortunately, the rougher and edgier 2009 has taken things a slight step backwards. Let's hope 2010 sees a return to form for Bleasdale's occasionally excellent malbec, which hasn't exactly been a consistent performer lately. Drink to 2014.