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.
Our highly esteemed VSV (Very Special Vineyard) wines are only made in exceptional years and when winemakers select a single vineyard that represents the upmost quality and individual character of the Barossa region. The wines are a celebration of our growers’ consistent dedication and their special pockets of land.
Year upon year, our committed growers nurture over 700 blocks of land and strive to produce superior fruit that will be considered for the VSV range.
“From old vine Shiraz planted in 1885 in Ebenezer, to a rare and intense Shiraz from Eden Valley, to a unique Cabernet Sauvignon from the Barossa Valley floor - each VSV wine has subtle nuances that can be traced back to their single vineyard origins,” says Tim Dolan, Senior Winemaker.
The VSV range is exceptionally special, shaped through collaboration between winemakers and growers and crafted by knowledge passed down through generations.
The McCarthy Shiraz
The grapes for this wine come from grower Dr. Mike McCarthy in the Bethany sub-district of the Barossa Valley. Intensely coloured with a black core and bright red hue, this wine exudes aromas typical of the Bethany sub-district. Aromas of chocolate, dark plum and mocha fill the glass with a hint of toasty oak in the background. The palate is long and intense with fine tannins coating the mouth. An opulent, chocolaty finish makes this wine a rich powerhouse with classic Barossa Shiraz characteristics. This wine can be cellared with confidence for another 10 – 16 years.
The Hongell Shiraz
This powerful and distinctive wine is sourced from a small block of sustainable Shiraz vineyards grown by Ian and Daniela Hongell on the western ridge of the Barossa Valley. The vineyard sits on red brown earth over weathered ancient rock and produces low-yielding fruit of rich intensity.
The wine's colour is deep with a bright edge leading to a bouquet of dark plums and mixed spice. The palate shows typical richness and is harnessed beautifully by the tannins from the iron stone rich soil. The result is a remarkable red wine with a great sense of place and a long, stylish finish.
The Carey Shiraz
Rod & Jenny Carey’s Lyndoch vineyard was established in 1997. The site boasts red brown earth over weathered rock and is nestled in a sheltered gully in the region’s western ranges protected from the afternoon sun and cooled by reap gully breezes. The wines from this site yield the benefits of this unique position.
The wine's colour is a deep red purple with a black core and exhibits aromas of satsuma plum, blueberries and subtle French oak. The palate delivers layers of plum, cherry and dark chocolate leading to fine powdery tannins on the finish.