Peter Lehmann, with 33 vintages already under his belt, started his own winery in 1979, partly as a means of helping with the glut of grapes then afflicting the Barossa. "I'll take your grapes and turn them into wine," he told the desperate growers, many of them conservative farmers of Silesian descent who regarded their old vines as part of their patrimony. "But I'll only be able to pay you when I sell the wine." They gratefully accepted. Without this deal, it is widely thought that the Barossa would have lost a huge chunk of its old vines. The 'Hill & Valley' wines are made from fruit selected, often from single vineyards, in the Barossa Valley and from the higher reaches of the adjacent Eden Valley.
The "8 Songs" Shiraz is made in a softer style than the other Peter Lehmann Shiraz wines. Maturation in 100% new French oak hogsheads integrates the rich fruit and velvety tannins and gives a mocha chocolate character to the wine. The "Mentor" Cabernet Sauvignon is the best expression of Barossa Cabernet of the vintage, aged in 100% French oak for 18 months and showing an intense cassis character and lovely structure on the palate. The Botrytis Semillon is made from a small block next to the winery and has wonderful balance and complexity.
Grapes for this Shiraz were sourced from old, low yielding vineyards in the Light Pass, Nuriootpa and Bethany districts of the Barossa Valley. "Eight Songs for A Mad King" was one of Peter Lehmann's favourite vocal ensemble musical works, loved for its soft harmonies, inspiring Peter to emulate their art in a wine unlike anything else he had made before. 'Eight Songs' was first made in 1996 with the aim of producing a decisively soft and stylish style of Barossa wine.
The 2015 growing season was cooler than average and dry, except for some timely rains at veraison. The fruit was harvested earlier than normal.
The grapes were fermented and macerated on skins for up to two weeks with some partial barrel fermentation. Following pressing and clarification, the wine was matured for approximately 15 months in French oak 300 litre hogsheads, 60% of which were new.
This wine is deep red in colour. The nose displays aromas of ripe plums alongside notes of sweet dark chocolate, coffee and warm spices. It is rich and full-bodied with concentrated flavours of chocolate and sweet spices supported by soft, velvety tannins.