24
Dec
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day seventy-four (nine stones barossa shiraz 2008 vs. Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz 2006)

At last. The day has finally arrived. No it’s not Xmas Eve. It’s the day of . . .

The Battle of the Shiraz

Tonight’s battle will be between Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008 and Peter Lehmann of the Barossa Shiraz 2006.

Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008 vs Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz 2006

What can we expect from this battle. Well, the other day we saw the first appearance of Nine Stones and it displayed some major tastiness. I loved it. You can read about it here. Peter Lehman should be a worthy competitor. I have not tasted this wine in some time, and maybe never vintage. All I remember is that it was big.

So let’s get to it, but first some introductions.

Coming in with a screw top cap and at $11 on sale at Mahan’s is the Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz. It has received ratings as low as 92 from Wine Spectator and as high as 94 from the Wine Enthusiast.

And in this corner with a screw top and at $12 on sale at Mahan’s is the Peter Lehmann of the Barossa Shiraz 2006. The Lehmann has received ratings as low as 89 from James Halliday and as high as 91 from the Wine Spectator, and Wine Spectator said it was a Smart Buy in 2009. Still, Peter Lehmann comes in as the underdog.

What makes the battle exciting is that they are both from Barossa, Australia.

Barossa Valley, Australia

Let the contest begin.

All right guys. Clink glasses and come out drinking.

The glasses of wine come out slowly and present their colors and menisci.

The Nine Stones is black cherry in color and 98% opaque and it has a deep meniscus. The Peter Lehmann has a similar color but it’s darker but not much. They are almost identical, but the Lehmann has a taller meniscus. The meniscus is the only way I can tell them apart.

Round Two. The Nose.

Round Nose

Here come the noses. Peter Lehmann leads with a dark, musky nose, but with some sweet plums, or plums and vanilla. And there might be a hint of cola, too, as my girlfriend nose says.

The Nine Stones nose is much different. It’s earthier and hardier, but it is also sweet but with sweet green apples. There also might be some cloves and something like cantaloupe or a light citrus. (Maybe it’s a tomato.)

As I rapidly go back and forth between the two, they actually share that same earthy, muskiness. Is that the odor of Barossa?

I think I like the Lehmann’s nose a bit better, but not much, and only because it’s more floral. There is nothing wrong with either nose.

Round Three. The Tasting.

Round Drink

Finally, all that matters – the tasting.

Oh the Nine Stone is so yummy. It’s drier than I remember, but it still has the three-part finish: pepper followed by tannins followed by fruit, maybe something like an orange with cloves like a traditional Xmas present (my girlfriend picked up on that). I also pick up raspberries and dark cherries before the finish  – you know, in the mouth. And there’s a hint of chocolate. Last time this wine was fruitier and there was more chocolate.

Now, the Lehmann. That’s as I remember it – big, dark, and tart. It’s not at all like the nose. The finish is quite bitter. This seems closer to a typical Shiraz in body and size. The Nine Stones isn’t nearly as big and is small for Shiraz. The Lehmann has blueberries up front and there is dark, baker’s chocolate on the finish.

How can these wines come from the same valley?

I like the Lehmann. If it wasn’t in the Battle of the Shiraz, it would seem good. 89 points good. But in this battle, I’m digging the Nine Stone much, much more. The Lehmann’s is almost too much for me. Maybe it needs some food to tame it. I like the Nine Stones fruitiness much more.

Nine Stones easily wins this one for me. 93-89.//


3 Responses to “in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day seventy-four (nine stones barossa shiraz 2008 vs. Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz 2006)”


  1. December 29, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I appreciate you mentioning Wine Enthusiast’s ratings in your blog, but would like to note a minor correction: Nine Stones 2008 Barossa Shiraz received a rating of 90 points, not 94 as you state.

    Peter Lehmann’s 2006 Barossa Shiraz also received a rating of 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.

    All of Wine Enthusiast’s published ratings and reviews are available to the public free of charge at buyingguide.winemag.com.

    Joe Czerwinski
    Senior Editor/Tasting Director
    Wine Enthusiast


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