Posts Tagged ‘Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008


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.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day seventy-three (Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008)

It took me a long time to remember where and why I purchased this Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008 from “north of Adelaide in South Australia,” but I figured it out. I picked it up in the Hannaford Farms in Rutland, VT, the day before Thanksgiving. It must have had a note that it received 90 or more points from some place, else I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. I always to try to pick out new wines, especially when I’m out of state, and this one jumped out at me. It doesn’t seem to be jumping right now, but that might change. I hope.

Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008

Anyway, I did some quick research. It received 94 points from the Wine Enthusiast, 92 points from the Wine Spectator (according to one source) but at the Wine Spectator website HS gave it 89 points, and Stephen Tanzer at the International Wine Cellar gave it 92 points.

Ghost WritingHopefully, this Shiraz will give me some energy, because I am neither awake or asleep.

I think a ghost is typing this, or at least there’s a ghost in the machine.


Wake up! Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.

Now that’s a quote from a ghost buried in Paris.

Jim Morrison's grave

This evening’s entertainment will be new with a wine you can barely see through. It’s dark and ruby. I think it will taste rather groovy.

It’s nose is alive with dark berries and vanilla. Oh, I think this wine will be a thrilla. There’s quite some more going on with some chocolate and other mocha spawn. Indeed there are cherries, too, along with some juicy fruit. And if my nose is indeed clever, it picks up on some white pepper.

Oh, I love this nose. It’s a wine I’m glad I chose.

Now to the give the wine a taste. Oh, it makes my mouth a happy place. There’s fruit up front and juiciness in the middle. I am covered in many a goose pimple. (No, really. Not for the sake of rhyme.)

It . . . is . . . frickin . . . delicious. I have to break the rhyme. It’s absolutely amazing. There’s so much going on. Even the finish has three movements: pepper followed by dryness followed by a joyful juciness like smooshed fruit. And it’s clean. And the texture is so smooth and soft.

I am in love with this wine.

Do I have to drive Rutland, VT, to pick up more of this wine? I’m dying over here.

I feel like I’m out berry picking, but really, like all berry picking, I’m eating more berries than picking. In fact, this wine would be great for a picnic after berry picking. Berry pick. Eat some berries, cheese, and bread. Drink this wine. Lie down on a blanket with your lover. Look at the clouds. Fall asleep. Wake up and realized there’s still half a bottle of the Nine Stones Barossa Shiraz 2008 and realize life is damned wonderful – enough to base a movie on.

This indeed is the Jim Morrison of wines. (A younger Jim Morrison.) It’s what Dionysus would drink. It’s a drink of love and vitality.

If you want a lively wine, a spirited wine, a playful wine, this is the wine to drink.

I’m melting in its flavors. Can you really give a wine like this points? If so, I wanna say at least 92 and maybe 94. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

And now I’m awake!//

The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

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