Peter Lehmann 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 large swathe of its old vines. The crisis passed, in large part thanks to Peter’s energy and vision, and the Lehmann winery became one of the Barossa’s – and Australia’s – outstanding wineries.
The “Hill & Valley” wines are made from fruit selected, often from single vineyards, in the Barossa Valley and from the higher reaches of the adjacent Eden Valley. The barrel-fermented Chardonnay, made from a vineyard in Wilton planted with new Dijon clones, is a bright and restrained example of the new style of Australian Chardonnay. The Riesling, also from the Eden Valley, is pristine and limey, while the Shiraz, made with fruit sourced from six different sub-districts of the Barossa, is lifted, vibrant and modern.
This Chardonnay is a pale straw colour with youthful highlights. Stone fruit aromas of ripe peach and nectarine are underlined with notes of toasted oak. The palate has abundant white fruits and citrus with lively acidity and a crisp finish.
Deep purple in colour, this wine shows aromas of lifted blueberry, plum and spice. The palate is rich and bright, with intense flavours of ripe blue fruits and black cherry. A long, fine tannin structure gives an excellent backbone to this sumptuous style of Barossa Shiraz.
A fresh, lively riesling with a delicate green tinge and hints of freshly picked limes and orange peel. The palate shows great fruit purity with a refreshingly crisp, dry finish. Although ready to drink now, it can be aged with confidence for a few years.