WHAT: Peter Lehmann’s wines come in a variety of styles for a variety of occasions. The Layers Red 2010 is perfect for that night you don’t want a heavy wine that might overwhelm you.
It’s a medium-bodied wine with bright fruit flavors and a beautiful spicy aroma. Between the smell and the bright red color in the glass, it’s a very inviting wine. You can’t wait to dive into it, and you will be rewarded when you do.
The wine is complex, with each new taste unfolding slowly. There are warm fruit tastes of cherry and plum, with some earthy, spicy characteristics. It’s a wine you can sip slowly and savor.
This is a blend of 54 percent Shiraz, 19 percent Tempranillo, 17 percent Mourvedre and 10 percent Grenache, all sourced from Barossa vineyards. Each varietal is fermented on its skins separately and then aged in old French and American oak barrels for seven months.
You should drink this wine relatively young, and not age it. It might even benefit from a slight chilling before you drink it.
WINERY: Peter Lehmann may be the best known winemaker in Australia, especially in the Barossa Valley, one of the premier wine regions of the country. Though he makes many varietals, his specialty is Shiraz.
His winery was founded in 1979, with the first vintage bottled in 1980. His estate vineyards produce about 2 percent of his grapes, with the rest coming from 185 local independent growers.
The winery also produces Layers White and a large number of still and sparkling wines at varying price points.
The Hess Family Collection bought 85 percent of the shares of Peter Lehmann Wines in 2003. The company owns wineries on four continents. They include Peter Lehmann Wines, Glen Carlou, Bodega Colomé and Estancia Colomé, Amalaya, Artezin Wines, Sequana Wines, MacPhail Family Wines and the Hess Collection in Napa Valley, where their showplace winery has a magnificent art collection.
GOES WITH: My wife, Teri, and I tried this wine with pan-fried breaded pork tenderloin cutlets, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, peas and salads. It was a nice pairing, with the fruit and spice complementing the pork.
This also would go well with Mediterranean meat dishes, spicy Indian dishes and hearty stews or casseroles. The wine can stand up to some strong flavors without losing its taste, but it has plenty of finesse and silkiness for more delicate dishes.