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.
Since its first vintage, the Peter Lehmann winery has championed Shiraz and Semillon, the two great traditional varieties of the Barossa. The Layers wines blend these two varieties with more innovative ones and express the new face of the Barossa. The unoaked white is a blend of Semillon, which adds structure and zest, and Muscat, lending a delicate floral character, both complemented by the delicate spice of Gewürztraminer and given texture by Pinot Gris. The red is a blend of Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Shiraz, creating a fragrant and spicy red with a supple texture and real interest on the palate. These smartly packaged wines show that while Peter Lehmann is a traditional Barossa winery, it continues to be as innovative today as it was 40 years ago.
The wine is pale yellow with a youthful green hue. On the nose, there are aromas of citrus, peach and white flowers with a hint of lifted spice. The finely-structured, lemon-tinged Semillon supports the soft floral aromatics of Muscat and the delicate spice of Gewürztraminer. The Pinot Gris provides texture and mouthfeel to the mid-palate and the finish is crisp and fresh.
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.