Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lehmann's Stonewell or Yalumba's Octavius?

Peter Lehmann and Yalumba are the two large family wineries in the Barossa Valley. They have access to many vineyards and produce flagship wines which showcase the best of Barossa Shiraz. I recently tasted both of them, the 2004 Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz and the 2005 Yalumba Octavius.

The Stonewell has received very strong reviews and it is an excellent wine, certainly much more refined than in some previous years. The fruit is excellent, and the wine well balanced with oak being present, but not dominant, and a satisfying finish. Unfortunately, there is not that much happening in the glass. The wine is smooth and full bodied, but the fruit set lacks some complexity, in my opinion.

Score: 94/-

The Octavius blew me away. This wine has layers and layers of fruit, with many flavour nuances, concentrated, but not over the top. Excellent mouthfeel and fine and long tannins on the back palate, probably stemming from its share of Eden Valley fruit. This is the best Octavius I have ever had and an absolutely outstanding Australian Shiraz, which will live for a long time.


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