2012 Peter Lehmann Layers, Barossa Valley Red
64% Syrah/Shiraz , 13% Tempranillo, 12% Mourvèdre, 11% Grenache/Garnacha. The colour is vibrant red with a burst of dark cherry and spice on the bouquet leading to a softly textured finish. Shiraz delivers fruit depth and structure, while the Tempranillo is firm and savoury. Mourvedre brings a wild earthiness and all are bound together by the aromatic and spicy nature of Grenache which softens the palate.
Peter Lehmann Wines works with over 140 growers across the length and breadth of the Barossa Valley region, with access to over 750 individual vineyard sites. The fruit for this wine was sourced from premium vineyard sites across the region.
Each variety is individually fermented to dryness on skins then matured in old French and American oak for seven months prior to bottling under screwcap to ensure consistency of quality.
Peter Lehmann, with 33 vintages already under his belt, started his own winery in 1979, partly as a means of helping with the glut of grapes then afflicting the Barossa. "I'll take your grapes and turn them into wine," he told the desperate growers, many of them conservative farmers of Silesian descent who regarded their old vines as part of their patrimony. "But I'll only be able to pay you when I sell the wine." They gratefully accepted. Without this deal, it is widely thought that the Barossa would have lost a huge chunk of its old vines. Since its first vintage, the Peter Lehmann winery has championed Shiraz and Semillon, the two great traditional varieties of the Barossa. The Layers blends use these two varieties as a base upon which to build a wine that expresses the new face of the Barossa, using varieties that are new or innovative. These smartly packaged wines show that while Peter Lehamann is a traditional winery, it continues to be as innovative today as it was 40 years ago.
2018 Pinot Noir "Innocent Bystander", Yarra Valley
100% Pinot Noir. This Pinot Noir has beautiful fruit which shines through its velvety mouthfeel and soft, savoury tannins. Only large, old oak barriques are used to age the wine, keeping the fruit character to the fore. This Pinot Noir has aromas of boysenberries, cherry and cranberry with earthy notes of dried spices. On the palate, this wine has a velvety mouthfeel with soft savoury tannins which make a lovely finish.
This wine is produced from a number of vineyards that span the Yarra Valley from Paul's Range at Dixons Creek in the north across to Bastard Hill in the very cool southern Upper Yarra. The vineyards were chosen in particular for their high diurnal temperature range, resulting in wines with high natural acidity and low pH. Yields are less than seven tonnes per hectare.
All grapes were hand picked and destemmed, with 10% kept as whole bunches. The must was cold soaked for four days before fermentation took place in stainless steel open fermenters with daily hand plunging. The wine was matured in a combination of French oak (10% new) and stainless steel tanks for nine months.
This winery changed hands in May 2016, with one family company, Brown Brothers, taking it off the hands of another, its founder, Phil Sexton. So associated is Innocent Bystander with the Yarra Valley that the new owners made the intelligent decision to build a new winery in Healesville, just across the parking lot from Giant Steps. They quickly signed contracts with all the grape growers that Phil used for Innocent Bystander, so that the style of the wines remains unchanged. This regional and varietal style, reflecting the soil, climate and topography of the cool climate in the Yarra Valley is the base upon which the reputation of Innocent Bystander has been built.
Dandelion `Lionheart of Barossa` Shiraz
This wine is intense crimson in colour, with a youthful purple hue. On the nose, it has lifted aromas of ripe blackberries, blueberries, spicy pepper notes and Christmas pudding-like spices. Generous, mouth-filling sweet blackberries, raspberries and plums are pronounced on the palate, with sweet spice. It has firm, but fine, tannins and dark chocolate nuances continue onto the lengthy palate.