Peter Lehmann Black Queen Sparkling Barossa Shiraz 2014  £25.95


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Peter Lehmann Black Queen Sparkling Barossa Shiraz 2014

Peter Lehmann, with 33 vintages already under his belt, 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 huge chunk of its old vines. The 'Masters' wines are made from the parcels regarded by the winemakers as the best Semillon, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz of the vintage.

Peter Lehmann Wines works with over 140 growers across the length and breadth of the Barossa Valley region, with access to over 750 individual vineyard sites. The Black Queen is made from Shiraz grown on old, low-yielding vines in premium vineyards in the Nuriootpa, Light Pass and Ebenezer districts of the Barossa Valley.

The 2014 vintage saw very hot weather in early summer. This was briefly interrupted by two days of heavy rain in mid-February after which the weather settled down to remain unseasonably warm and dry through to the end of harvest. This allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.

The grapes were fermented on skins for 7-10 days, before being pressed and clarified. The wine was then matured for 12 months in older French oak hogsheads. The base wine was then bottlefermented and aged on its yeast lees for five years. After disgorgement, a small percentage of fortified Shiraz was added to build complexity and add natural sweetness before release.

Bright red with a dense black core, this wine has concentrated aromas of plum, blackberry and dark chocolate. The palate is quintessentially 'Black Queen', with a gentle mousse, naturally low in tannins, soft and abundant in rich blue fruit flavours and a Christmas cake finish. Best enjoyed now, however, will comfortably develop further in the cellar for a further 5-10 years.

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