Peter Lehmann Wines has kicked off its two-year partnership with chef and restaurateur Matt Moran with a celebration of 30 vintages of Stonewell Shiraz, one of winery’s flagship wines.
Moran hosted a tasting of six superb Stonewell vintages – ranging from 1989 to 2017 – at his Chiswick restaurant in Woollahra.
Moran is a trailblazer in the Australian food and dining scene, with over three decades of experience running some of Australia’s best and most-loved venues. He is renowned for championing the ‘paddock to plate’ ethos, which emphasises the importance of locally sourced, sustainable produce that has seasonality front of mind.
Similarly, Peter Lehmann was committed to quality and provenance. In the early years, when local grape growers were struggling to make ends meet, Peter Lehmann stepped up to create a wine that not only sourced local grapes but embodied the spirit of the local community.
Stonewell Shiraz, which debuted in 1987, was created with one guiding principle – to be Peter Lehmann’s best Shiraz of
Stonewell was named after the district that Peter Lehmann believed best showed the characteristics admired most in
Barossa Shiraz. This tradition has continued and each vintage, the best Shiraz fruit from the winery’s extensive network
of local growers is chosen to create Stonewell. Usually, no more than a dozen small, old vineyards are selected each year
with the oldest planted in 1885.
The secret to Stonewell Shiraz is the outstanding quality of grapes – referred to by Lehmann as ‘little black jewels’ –
drawn only from low-yielding vineyards that produce sparse bunches with tiny, but intensely flavoured fruit. Senior Winemaker Brett Shutz brought several bunches of the intensely flavoured grapes with him from the Barossa to the Chiswick event.
The grapes are fermented and macerated on skins for up to two weeks, with some partial barrel fermentation. Following pressing and clarification, the wine is matured in French oak hogsheads for approximately 18 months.
This results in a full-bodied wine with massive density and length, boasting a crimson rim with a deep black core. Classic notes of blue and black fruits mingle with ironstone and graphite tannins, making it an ideal pairing for rich meat dishes. Moran accompanied the tasting with slow-roasted lamb shoulder accompanied by pumpkin, king brown mushroom gnocchi and pumpkin.
The tasting was led by Peter Lehmann Wines Senior Regional Manager, Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets, James Wilson, Brand Ambassador and Educator Malcolm Stopp and Peter Lehmann Senior Winemaker Brett Schutz.
It commenced with the 1989 Stonewell Shiraz, which won the Jimmy Watson trophy 34 years ago. Stopp was an entertaining host, for example he described the 1998 vintage as “bigger than God’s underpants”. And it was! Despite being 25 years old it was full-bodied and powerful, with many years still to go in the bottle.
The tasting culminated with a glass of the 2017 Stonewell Shiraz, awarded with 97 points from Halliday Wine Companion, which has an RRP of $100 and is available at all good liquor stores nationally.
Moran said: “I have always admired Peter Lehmann Wines and their commitment to creating exceptional wines that reflect the unique landscape of the Barossa Valley. As someone who is passionate about creating unforgettable dining experiences, I believe that wine plays an essential role in bringing people together and elevating any meal to a truly special occasion.”
The Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz accomplished that goal at Chiswick last week.
Pictured main: Brett Schutz, Matt Moran and Malcolm Stopp.