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.
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.