While we were working on Thursday, May 21st. in Bangkok, our German colleagues were celebrating Ascension Day, also known as “Fathers Day” in my native Germany. “Father’s Day” is usually celebrated in the following way: young fathers, some older ones among them, and many other men, usually the ones who have not fathered any child they are aware of but eager to celebrate whatever comes their way, gather in the morning around a handcart loaded with all kinds of drinks and food. Then they set out and walk into the surrounding countryside to drink with their mates and have a jolly good, all-male time. Sometime they have a specific destination or they walk around a circuit. I will refrain from describing the usual end of these walks.
In short, the occasion warrants a special treat.
On this Father’s Day in Bangkok, I had the great pleasure of enjoying some hearty Italian meals, delicious pastas and insalata caprese and other delicacies. The rather colder nights in Bangkok, due to the beginning of the rainy season somehow incited in me the desire for some good reds; Australian was the natural choice.
Peter Lehmann and his Shiraz wines seemed to be just the right stuff. Since wine prices are dear in Thailand we have to be careful with our choices.
Peter Lehmann is one of the few Australian vintners who became a legend in his own lifetime. Today, Peter Lehmann Wines in the Barossa Valley, South Australia is part of the Hess Family Estates with wineries in the Napa Valley, South Africa and Argentina.
Peter Lehmann Wines was established in 1979 as a response to the serious grape overproduction at the time (sounds terribly familiar in 2009 too). Most of the grapes come from about 185 contract growers. Only about 3% of the total wine output is derived from the self-owned vineyard (73 ha which is not small for a boutique vintner like me).
The Shiraz wines are the flagships of Peter Lehmann which assured me that nothing could go wrong.
We bought the following wines:
1. A ‘2006 Peter Lehmann Weighbridge Shiraz’
2. A ‘2005 Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz’
Both were “reasonably” priced for Thai conditions. The price for the bottle of Weighbridge Shiraz was about 700 Thai Bath (US$ 20 or € 14.6) and for the Barossa Shiraz about 1,000 Thai Bath (US$ 29 or € 20.8). Retail prices in Europe range from € 8-12 resp. € 15-17 or £ 6.50 and £ 7.50 in the UK. Interesting these price differentials. That’s the price of protectionism. Long live free trade.
Both wines went well with the Italian food. They had a beautiful dark red colour, were spicy and full of black fruit, plum in the case of the Weighbridge Shiraz. The 2005 Barossa Shiraz was “heavier” with lots of chalky tannins, a wine to be chewed so to say. We started with the 2006er bottle and went on to the older, in my view better, wine, which was absolutely the right choice.
I have not visited the Peter Lehmann winery in South Australia myself. The website is beautiful, informative and very enticing. I conclude: one should visit the place.
It takes about one to one and a half hours to drive to the winery from Adelaide Airport.
Peter Lehmann Wines LTD
off Para Road
Tanunda SA 5352