“After a hot and dry January (understatement of the century), we saw a return to milder conditions for the first three weeks of February. Cool nights have helped Barossa white grapes and we predict to see an excellent Margaret Semillon as a result. A spike in temperature at the end of February brought ripeness and picking times forward, particularly for Shiraz and with whites complete we have turned our attention to reds. With smaller yields this year, fruit looks to be solid and consistent in quality. Our growers are working tirelessly to ensure any vine stress is kept at a minimum and canopies remain healthy.
From a winemaking perspective, Nigel is overseeing all operations whilst gearing up for the red grape intake. Brett and Brooke are working on white juices and ferments, whilst Tony and I are spending time in vineyards assessing quality and ripeness. All aspects of the winery and vineyard operations are being closely monitored by legendary winemaker Peter Scholz, with his shadow often darkening the hallways around break time each morning!"
- Tim Dolan, Senior Winemaker
Winemaker Brett Smith selects the 2012 Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon for January Wine of the Month
There is a real post vintage buzz around the Barossa Valley with winemakers throughout the district especially excited over the quality of the later ripening red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache.
2017 was a cracking Cabernet vintage. It will be remembered as a particularly mild growing season, allowing very slow ripening and the development of mature Cabernet flavours reminiscent of licorice, tobacco and violets and the texture and acidity to make very cellar worthy red wines.
It was a vintage with many quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines contending for a role in our Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon, where only the finest parcels were included.
The 2017 vintage released our 2012 Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon. Another outstanding red wine vintage that was very mild throughout, with predominantly cool nights, which allowed our best Cabernet vineyards to ripen slowly and produce wines with great complexity, elegance and longevity.
The 2012 Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon is without doubt one of the best of the last decade and was lauded by Andrew Wigan, inaugural Chief Winemaker, as one of the best Cabernet vintages of his distinguished time at Peter Lehmann Wines.
Like Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan, Barossa Cabernet is often overshadowed by Barossa Shiraz but is undeniably a star in its own right. When the ideal conditions prevail (or Michael Jordan retires) these second fiddles get their time to shine and 2012 was certainly time for our Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon.
Although drinking beautifully now this is a wine that will be an absolute belter to open in another decade.
The perfect celebration wine at the beginning, middle or end of your festive day – pair Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz with a Summer Berry Pudding with dollops of thickened cream for a magical match to end a decadent day.
250g strawberries (hulled & halved)
150g red currants
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 brioche loaves (crusts removed & cut into 1cm slices)
Assorted remaining berries for decoration
Serve with Peter Lehmann Black Queen Sparkling & thickened cream
Mix the strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, red currants and sugar in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves and berries begin to release their juices, stirring gently. Remove from heat and cool. Strain through a fine sieve to separate the fruit from the berry juices.
Using a 7cm round pastry cutter, cut six discs from the brioche. Using a 10cm round pastry cutter, cut another six discs from brioche and set aside. Lightly brush a bit of the berry juice on a 7cm disc and place the disc, brushed-side down, in the base of a 1 cup (250ml) sized dariole mould. Cut the remaining brioche slices into 3cm wide lengths.
Lightly brush berry juice onto one side of a strip place around the sides of the mould. Continue with brushed brioche slices until the side of the mould is covered, and repeat with remaining brioche slices and moulds.
Evenly spoon the berry mixture evenly among the prepared moulds. Place a 10cm brioche disc on top to enclose the berry filling. Cover each mould with cling film and place moulds on a tray, topping each mould with a small can to weigh down. Refrigerate overnight to set and infuse.
Using a round-bladed knife, carefully turn out each summer pudding onto serving plates. Pour remaining berry juice over each pudding and top with remaining berries. Serve with double cream and Peter Lehmann Wines Black Queen Sparking Shiraz.
Serves 6 people.