Tasting the 2004 Stonewell Shiraz with winemaker Ian Hongell

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to have lunch and taste wines with Ian Hongell, the Senior Winemaker from Peter Lehmann. It was a great opportunity, to taste and also have the guided tour of each of his wines while pairing it with food is as always a wonderful experience. We tasted a total of 7 wines:

  • 2008 Layers White Blend

  • 2008 Eden Valley Riesling

  • 2006 Barossa Semillon

  • 2006 Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2006 Barossa Shiraz

  • 2004 Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2004 Stonewell Shiraz

My favorite of the bunch and one of the wines that I had never tried before was the 2004 Stonewell Shiraz ($90). Hailed by Peter Lehmann as their “best wine of each vintage”, it is a power house Shiraz. They select grapes from a dozen or so of their oldest vineyards, some dating back to 1885, and yielding less than 1.5 tons per acre. The vineyards come from 4 different districts within the Barossa Valley, the Kabiningie, Greenock, Vine Vale and the Nuriootpa. The 2004 spent 18 months in a combination of 90% French and 10% American Oak before being bottled.

PLW_Stonewell_BtlMy Tasting Notes -

Nose: blackberry, olive, bacon

Taste: black currant, leather, tobacco, cassis, toast

Mouthfeel: rich and full bodied with big leathery tannins

Finish: weeks later I think I’m still tasting this – loads of dark fruit and bacon flavors lingered on

This is a big, in your face Shiraz that is definitely over the top but in all the right ways. It wasn’t an all fruit show, olive, bacon and leather notes joined the cast of characters to give this New World explosion layers of “goodness”. At $90 it compares with other Shiraz’ like Ben Glaetzers “Amon Ra” or “Annaperenna”. And although this was fabulous and definitely a collectible like Glaetzer’s Shiraz’ or Penfolds Grange, I have a hard time paying this amount of money for Shiraz when there are great ones out there from $20 – $50. If you have the opportunity to taste it or can afford the price tag I definitely recommend it.

Cheers!

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Categories: $40+, barossa, shiraz, wine review | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Tasting the 2004 Stonewell Shiraz with winemaker Ian Hongell

  1. Billiam

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/business/global/23wine.html?ref=dining

    Did you read this in the NY Times about Australian wines?

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