Wildcard Shiraz – Cabernet
Wildcard Shiraz – Cabernet, A medium bodied wine with a character that tastes more full bodied. Spicy liquorice and blackberry flavours are plentiful in this wine which would happily pair with many red meats but would work equally well with Spaghetti Bolognese.
The Wildcard wines are named after Sky Masterson, the gambler hero of the musical Guys & Dolls. Peter Lehmann Wines was originally named Masterson Wines between 1977 and 1981, as it was the biggest gamble ever taken by Peter Lehmann and the growers. The wines are soft and forward and easy drinking but still bear the hallmark quality of head winemaker Nigel Westblade and his team. “We buy grapes, not bulk wine, as we can make a much better wine that way,” he says.
Peter Lehmann Wines was established in 1980 in Tanunda, South Australia, by its eponymous founder, who was widely known as “the Baron of the Barossa”. There is a wide range of wines made at Peter Lehmann but the icon wine is the Stonewell Shiraz, a wine that includes grapes from Peter Lehmann’s own vineyard, Stonewell, in the Marananga district of Barossa Valley. The winery sources grapes from more 140 different grape growers throughout the Barossa and Eden Valleys and the Adelaide Hills – estate vineyards only account for two percent of the entire production.
Peter Lehmann began work at Saltram Wines located in the Barossa Valley, one of the oldest estates in the region. Over the next 20 years Lehmann worked as the winemaker for the estate, buying fruit from a host of growers. In 1979, Saltram Wines’ new owner began to make wines exclusively from estate vineyards, so Lehmann created his own winery in order to keep the growers in business. The relationships Lehmann has with the growers he effectively saved have paid off, and the company has access to some of the oldest vines and best grapes produced in the Barossa. Lehmann Wines predominantly source Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Chardonnay, but also have access to a plethora of other varieties – including Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo, Semillon, Moscato, Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer.
The Stonewell is a limited release and only made in the years where grapes reach required standards. Quantities depend on the number of vineyards that have ripe enough Shiraz – in 2011 only two vineyards out of the entirety of the Lehmann portfolio contained premium grapes and thus tiny quantities of the wine were made.