Wine of the Week

A sampling of velvety Australian reds

Wine of the Week

Peter Lehmann of the Barossa

Peter Lehmann of the Barossa is one of the good-guy wineries. At every price level, they give value for the money and quality that beats most of its competitors. Lehmann makes 52 different wines, but in Central Texas we only get a few of them. Their Barossa Chardonnay ($11) is a perfect example of the attention they lavish even on their lowest-priced wines. It has the richness of a California version but is very light on the oak. The result is a slight touch of vanilla and toast that accentuates the fruit instead of drowning it out. Its lemony aromas and crisp acidity make it perfect for an aperitif or as an accompaniment to steamed shellfish.

Clancy's ($16) is a blend of 35% Shiraz, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. It's Lehmann's biggest seller in our area – buyers come back for more of the intensely flavored but velvety-soft wine.

Lehmann made his name in the wine business by producing killer Shiraz. The least expensive in our market is the Barossa Shiraz ($16), a good introduction to the allure of Barossa Valley Shiraz. Like the whole Barossa line, this is a soft, fruity wine that works equally for lazing away an afternoon in conversation or pairing with good food. The Eight Songs Shiraz ($38) is an altogether more serious affair. It has dark berry, vanilla, and chocolate aromas with more tannic acid, which means it should be ready for a good long life.

Peter Lehmann's Clancy is available all over town. The Barossa Shiraz is at World Market and a few Randalls. Eight Songs is available at Costco.

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Peter Lehmann of the Barossa, Barossa Valley, red wines

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