Australia, Rose wines

Turkey Flat Barossa Valley Rosé 2009

Winemaker: Mark Bulman
Grape: 61% Grenache, 22% Shiraz, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Dolcetto
Region: Barossa Valley, South Australia

The history of this place goes back to 1847, when a far-sighted Silesian refugee Johann Frederick August Fiedler planted Shiraz vines here. His brother-in-law, Pastor August Kavel, led German emigrants to Australia’s Barossa valley. Fiedler settled on one of the first parcels of land to be surveyed in the area.

Schulz family purchased the Turkey Flat property in around 1865 and on top of taking care of the vineyard, they also developed a successful butcher business. Turkey Flat’s iconic wine was named Butcher Block, in honor of their family history.

The fourth generation, Peter and Christie Schulz, transformed from wine growing to wine making. They own five vineyards in about 20km radius, which covers four very different sub-regions. To blend the grapes from different terroires gives the winemaker an additional tool to develop a great flavor and character to his wines.

Barossa Valley traditionally produces an excellent quality red wines, mainly Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. But not every winemaker can work with such an old vines as Schulz family possesses. Turkey Flat’s wines (especially their Shiraz, GSM, Cabernet Sauvignon and Butcher Block) are very intense, with concentrated rich flavors, because of the ancient vines that were originally planted by Fiedler.

Every Turkey Flat wine has its own, personalized design of turkey, created by local artist Rod Schubert. Thanks to his vision of the native bush turkey, Turkey Flat wines stand out among other Aussies wines in the wine shops.

I don’t believe that grapes from these old vines are used to produce Turkey Flat Rosé. Grapes are harvested from the Menge Road estate and Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Dolcetto vines are grown specifically for this purpose. Yet it always has a very rich and unique pink color, concentration and it is superbly balanced. No wonder this Rosé repeatedly receives 90 points from different wine critics.

Tasting notes:
Intense pink color, a typical for Turkey Flat Rosé, and lovely aroma of fresh strawberries, raspberries, water melon and wild flowers. Aside of the typical turkey label, please also note this elegant, lean bottle with modern twist closure.

On the palate this Rosé is crisp, dry wine full of red fruit flavors like red currant, strawberries, raspberries and red grapefruit. Fruit is so rich and so pronounced, it feels like a hint of sweetness on your tongue, but it’s balanced perfectly with its natural acidity, just the way I like it.

Long finish makes it almost certain that you wouldn’t be satisfied with just one glass. Unless you have a really strong will power. I don’t.

Turkey Flat Rosé is priced slightly higher than the medium range of Rosé wines on the market. It sells for around $16.00, but in my opinion, it’s worth the money. Don’t miss this wine and taste it yourself. I welcome your opinion.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak

Retail price: $ 16.99

Ideal food pairing:

Australia, White blends, White wines

Peter Lehmann Layers 2008

Winemaker: Ian Hongell
Grape: Gewurtztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris,Semillon, Chardonnay
Region: Barossa, Adelaide, Australia

See other wines from this producer:
Peter Lehmann Clancy’s
Peter Lehmann Chardonnay

Five grape varieties from different vineyards gave this wine an unbelievable complexity. As the Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris gives the blend crispiness and freshness, Muscat brings tropical fruits aromas and flavors while Semillon provides a great structure for pairing with food. Chardonnay adds a touch of clean, white peach flavors to this balanced, lovely composition.

Wine was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled soon after.

Tasting notes:
Attractive yellow and green colors is the first think you will see in your glass. Layers are full of tropical fruit aromas. Clean and crisp, with touches of white peaches and mango this wine is elegant and delicate. Symphony of flavors is developing all the way until a long finish. Layers will be a great compliment to many spicy, sweet or sour dishes. Enjoy it young.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 15.00

Ideal food pairing:
fusion dishes, Asian dishes, seared scallops with creamy corn, shrimp based dishes, seafood salad, fennel salads, Turkey sacks with tropical fruit and many more

Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon, Great wines under $10, Red blends, Red wine, Syrah/Shiraz

Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Shiraz / Cabernet 2007


Chief Winemaker: Peter Gago
Grape: 75% Shiraz, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale

Penfolds was founded in 1844 by Dr. Christopher Rawson Penfold, who emigrated to South Australia from England. He planted vine cuttings from the south of France and opened his medical practice. He always believed in medicinal value of the wine.

The demand for his wines soon outpaced his medical practice and Dr. Penfold focused on creating some finest wines in the world. Penfolds and the Australian wine industry changed dramatically in 1950, when Max Schubert arrived. He is the person behind mastering the famous Penfolds Grange and Bin wines. During his time Penfolds was established as Australia’s premier winery.

For years now they produce some of the best collectible wines that could last several decades – like Grange (about $250.00 a bottle), Bin 707, Bin 389 and more. One of my customers once said that “There is nothing special about expensive bottle of wine. If I spent $100 per bottle, it better taste good! What is real fun is to find is that one bottle of wine that cost $10 but taste like $30.”

The super-value Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet could be one of those wines. It is an extremely well crafted bottle of wine, retails about under $10.00 a bottle. This vintage received 88 points review from Wine Advocate and it has been consistent in high quality over the years.

2007 Shiraz Cabernet blend was aged in seasoned oak for 8 months.

Do not hesitate to try any of the Penfolds wines. You will be in for a treat.

Tasting notes:
Purple colored, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of body. You can smell a lot of ripe red fruit, plum and blueberry, with a light hint of spice. On the palate you taste baked red plum with intense ripe cherry and other red fruit flavors. Long finish with a dust of dark bitter chocolate. Incredible value!

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 10.00

Ideal food pairing:
spicy dishes, pork roast, barbecue, ribs, hamburgers and more

Australia, Chardonnay, White wines

Peter Lehmann Chardonnay 2008


Winemaker: Ian Hongell
Grape: 100% Chardonnay
Region: Barossa and Eden Valley, Australia

See other wines from this producer:
Peter Lehmann Layers
Peter Lehmann Clancy’s

Blending a fruit from vineyards in the lower Barossa Valley with those from the higher, cooler Eden Valley gives this wine a great depth of flavors and an excellent structure.

The wine is fermented in French oak (very sparingly) just to give it a touch of creaminess and complexity on the palate. Other than that, this Chardonnay stands completely on its own. Very nice expression of different style of Chardonnay fruit, blended together.

Tasting notes:
Lovely lemony flavors followed by tropical fruits and white peach. On the palate you get a slight creaminess of the oak and refreshing hint of a green apple. Well balanced wine express the Chardonnay in a very elegant way. Not too big, not too light, just right.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 12.00

Ideal food pairing:
Shrimp scampi, Crispy Tilapia, Magic chicken, Crisp pork medallions with creamy Caper sauce, Ham and pasta bake

Australia, Red blends, Red wine

Peter Lehmann Clancy’s 2005

Winemaker: 4 winemakers led by Andrew Wigan
Grape: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
Region: Barossa, Australia

See other wines from this producer:
Peter Lehmann Chardonnay
Peter Lehmann Layers

Peter Lehmann’s life time relationship with small farmers in Barossa is a guarantee for him to get the best selection of fruit possible. He brought the traditional blending of Shiraz with Cabernet Sauvignon to the next level with adding a bit Merlot to it for the softness.

After harvesting each variety, the wines went through slow fermentation and aged 12 months in new and old French and American oak.

This wine charmed me ever since I first tasted it – the percentage of each grape variety changes every vintage, but the quality never does – Peter Lehmann’s Clancy’s is a tribute to famous Barossa Shiraz.

Rated high repeatedly by prestigious wine critiques around the world – this is truly exceptional quality red wine, priced more than fairly. This is a wine that over-delivers!

Tasting notes:
Black cherry and ripe plums is the first aroma notes I noticed, with a touch of chocolate. Soft, medium bodied red is perfectly balanced and not overpowering.

The oak is sensitively integrated in the harmony with the wine.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 15.00

Ideal food pairing:
Baked duck, beef stew, Lamb chops, Lamb burgers, pot roast, beef casseroles, Osso Buco, aged cheeses