Category Archives: Wine of the Week

Aug 08 2011

Wine of the Week: Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz

Posted on August 08, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In his post, Tasting Australian History: Six decades with Peter Lehmann (Wine Spectator 12 October 2010), wine critic Harvey Steiman talks about a recent  tasting of the 1996 Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz. As Steiman notes, 1996 was the best vintage of the 1990s for Barossa Shiraz and this wine certainly didn’t disappoint:

astonishing suppleness, depth and power. Gorgeous stuff, it showed spicy cherry and blackberry flavors that glowed through polished tannins. Has power without excess weight, and it feels like it can go on for decades. Easily 95 points, non-blind.

I always enjoy reading recent reviews of older wines. The best red wines are designed to age, and typically shiraz can take 10 of more years before it starts to fully evolve. Terrific reviews of older bottles are also a testament to the talent and skills of the winemaker and, of course, the quality of the initial raw materials, which is all about insuring the best outcomes in the vineyard.

In the case of Peter Lehmann, the extraordinary talent of the winemaker is already the stuff of legends. Peter Lehmann had already notched up more than 30 years as a winemaker, first at Yalumba and then at Saltram, before starting his eponymous winery in 1979. Steiman comments that “some of the Shiraz wines he made at Saltram in the 1960s are regarded as among the finest Barossa wines every produced. They are still perfectly sound and continue to be used by Barossa winemakers to demonstrate the longevity of Barossa Shiraz at its best.”

Chief Winemaker Andrew Wigan, who has been with Peter Lehmann since its founding, is also one of Australia’s top winemakers; as recently as 2009 he won the coveted  Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine ‘Winemaker of the Year’ award.

The Stonewell Shiraz is regarded as the winery’s ultimate expression of Barossa Shiraz. The winery selects only the best grapes from its legacy of growers’ Barossa vineyards. Usually no more than a dozen small, low yielding vineyards are selected each year,.. [Read More]

Aug 08 2011

Wine of the Week: Howard Park Leston Cabernet Sauvignon

Posted on August 08, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The Howard Park Leston Cabernet Sauvignon is undoubtedly one of Western Australia’s top cabernet sauvignons. Ray Jordan of the West Australian recently singled out the Howard Park Leston Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 as the ‘Best of the Best’ of 500 wines from all over Australia selected for tasting. Here’s his review:

An opulent and densely packed cabernet from Margaret River. Just about the best yet under this label, with its deep, black fruits, dark chocolate and black olive aromas. Tannins are slightly chewy and the fine-grained oak lays a long path to a lingering finish... [Read More]

Jul 07 2011

Wine of the Week: Henschke Hill of Grace 2006

Posted on July 07, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If any wine could potentially knock Penfolds Grange off its mantle as Australia’s most iconic wine, it would undoubtedly be the Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz. These two wines share the stage as Australia’s preeminent expressions of shiraz. Together they perennially deliver almost unbeatable quality, and command equally impressive prices upon release.

But whereas Grange is a multi-regional blend sourced from Penfolds very best vineyards, the Eden Valley Henschke Hill of Grace comes from a single, eight hectare vineyard that was planted in the 1860s with pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early settlers… [Read More]