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3rd February 2019

David Franz of the Barossa

On my recent visit to Australia, I had the chance to visit a few of the Barossa Valley’s best producers, courtesy of being able to borrow the car my friend James Lindner of Langmeil Winery. Langmeil’s own wines, made by James’ brother Paul are utterly compelling – as fine a range of the Barossa as you are likely to find. I visited and tasted at the neighbouring David Franz winery. I have known David, a little, for many years, since I first started going to Australia. You probably know his name too – but he does not use it any more for his wines. David is the son of Peter Lehmann, once deservedly dubbed ‘The King of the Barossa’. Dave cut his winemaking teeth with his father, after travelling abroad wondering how to choose between cartooning and trumpet as a career. Peter Lehmann Wines is now a brand name owned by Casella Family Brands, but Dave’s decision not to use the ‘Lehmann’ name was a conscious one. These are his wines, not his dad’s son’s wines. They are made and presented with a sense of humour and a grin as big as you like. I am sure Peter would be very proud.

Tasted in Tanunda 15/11/2018. Cellar Door prices in $AUD. Thanks to the lovely Aruna for taking me through the tasting.



A tasting at David Franz starts with a taste of the hard-to-spit Scrumpy, and cider grape juice wine combination, which is a fine palate cleanser, neither sharp nor sweet, but well balanced and fresh.

Long Gully Road Semillon 2017
$25. Ancient Vines Hunter style (12.9%) picked early.
Lean, mineral and straw/linseed aromas and flavours. Good acidity and balanced structure. Long, dry limey finish. Needs time. Good. 16.5



Marg’s Blood Semillon 2008
$50. 11.8%
Very intense juicy lime and straw aromas, inviting. Deep. Nutty, very Hunter Valley style. Very rich and deep with nuts and spice, some honey. Dry straw finish. 17.5

Gewürztraminer 2017 Evandale Vineyard
$25. Adelaide Hills Fruit
Elegant and fresh expression of the aromatics. Some rose petal and musky perfume. Bone dry, good acidity, zesty and mild aromas. Very appealing 16

Riesling Eden Valley 2017
$27
Leafy and floral with some stone fruit. Mid-high acidity and line mineral, understated, trace of RS to offset. Some trace phenolic. Dry mineral chalky finish. Very good. 17

Brother’s Ilk Moskos’ Birdwood Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
$45. 12mths oak, Adelaide Hills fruit
Plenty oak to scent, dry peach fruit and almond aromas underneath. Rich, full oak, plenty but not complete MLF (to taste) rich butter and nut hints, but with elegant fruit. Very good lean style without struck match, and with controlled oak. Good stuff. 17.5



Red Rosé 2016
$22. 108 different grape varieties! But mainly Shiraz, and plenty table grape varieties (98 from one nursery). A ‘fruit salad’ vineyard.
Slightly confected sweet fruit nose. Jam and strawberry. RS in balance, but a little stewed tasting (maybe the new vintage will be fresher). 14.5

Waxing Lyrical Mataro 2016
$25. Barossa fruit
Fresh cherry aromatics with some sourness and floral touches. Light currant and prune flavours with some liquorice and earth. Juicy crisp finish. Slightly lean back palate. 15.5

Grenache Noir 2016
$25. Barossa fruit. 30% whole bunch. Vinified as Pinot Noir
Spicy strawberry and floral sweet aromas. Leafy and slightly stemmy flavours. It *is* quite Pinot-y, but I’m not totally convinced that’s a good thing. Fresh fruity finish. 15.5

H. P. Hydraulic Press Shiraz 2016
$25. Limited skin contact/oak 12.9% abv
Bright juicy fruit aromas. Sweet and rich scents. Fresh acidity and spicy extract, mid tannins and light but with excellent structure. Very appealing style of Shiraz. 17

Plane Turning Right 2014
$25. 50 Merlot, 34 Petit Verdot 16 Cabernet Sauvignon. Barossa fruit. 13.8%. No oak.
Juicy black fruit aromas with violet and some spice. Dry in sugar terms. Sweet violet and touch eucalyptus/cough medicine flavour in a delicious way. Sweetly fruity finish. Some very ripe tannins on the back. Very delicious. 17

Benjamin’s Promise Shiraz 2014
$50. Stonewell, Barossa. French oak, all new. 14.2%
Big rich typical Barossa Shiraz aromas with spice and juiciness, but not hot or jammy. Full fruity and deep spices on the palate. Rich warm oakiness, but not overpowering chocolate or coffee. Well balanced and not monstrous. 17.5

Alexander’s Reward 2013
$50. 75 Cabernet Sauvignon (US Oak) 25 Shiraz (French oak). Barossa fruit 13.8%
Minty blackcurrant and juicy fruit aromas. Warm toasty oak. Inviting. Juicy and powerful tannins and extract. Dry but very rich finish. Very good 18

Georgie’s Walk Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
$50. French oak, Stonewall, Barossa. 13.8%
Juicy with plenty peppermint and eucalypt to accompany the black fruit. Ripe tannins and rich extract. Some stemmy woodiness and structure. Juicy with warm but not jammy fruit. Dry tannins on the finish. Good 17.5

Larrikin VI
$50. 61 Shiraz (2003 vintage) 12 Mataro 10 Grenache 9 Cabernet Sauvignon 7 Petit Verdot (mixed vintages) 14%
Evolved colour. Some varnish and wax. Prune and raisin fruit. Dry spice and fruitcake richness. Big dry finish. 17

Sticky 2017
$25 (500ml). Botrytis Semillon 156g/L sugar
Gold colour. Fresh grape and floral aromas, some limited honey botrytis to scent. Powerful sweetness, good backing acidity. Honey, peach fruit. Not hugely complex but well done. 16

Old Redemption XO
$50 (500ml). 52 yrs average age. 19.9% Made at Peter Lehmann
Mid amber brown colour. Oxidative nutty aromas. Complex caramel and hazelnut with some honey and cinnamon. Inviting. Very nutty, but retaining dried apricot fruit. Warm finish. Very good indeed. 19



1979 VP Vintage Port
$50 (500ml). Made at Peter Lehmann. Shiraz Cabernet
Mid mahogany colour. Dried prune and walnut aromas. Lots of oxidative whisky like aromas. More fruit to taste - some tannin vestiges. Liquorice and bramble jelly. Not for further keeping, as drying slightly, but great now. 17.



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