I just returned from a wonderful 11 night trip to Europe in which my wife and I visited Rome, Sicily, Sorrento, Greece and Turkey by land and sea. We especially enjoyed our time aboard the brand new Celebrity Solstice cruise ship, which happens to offer a spectacular wine list. I decided to make this month a duel feature of two separate vintages of the same wine, both of which are still available. I tasted the most recent vintage at Sona in Los Angeles back in February and then again aboard the ship, and also had quite a good amount of the older vintage aboard the ship as well! I prefer the more recent vintage, but felt that since both are still out there and plentiful, I might as well give special attention to both. Generally, anything produced in Barossa Valley is worth tasting, but this wine consistently delivers at a somewhat lower price point.


PETER LEHMANN SHIRAZ BAROSSA VALLEY 2005, $15, 89 Points, 22,000 cases produced

Loaded with vanilla and red fruit on the nose. Supple red cherry, perfumed fruit and hints of earthy roasted beet and peppery spice come together to form deep structure on the palate and linger long.

PETER LEHMANN SHIRAZ BAROSSA VALLEY 2006, $15, 90 Points, 26,400 cases produced

Lots of dark red fruit and vanilla bean on the nose. Ripe but dark raspberry and black cherry flavors above notes of pomegrante carry through the dark chocolate and understated pepper spice, a less aggressive but suave style. Full and leathery throughout the impressive finish.

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