Margaret Lehmann. Picture: Mark Brake Source: News Limited
A VAST collection of wines considered to be a national treasure has been unlocked from the Barossan legend Peter Lehmann’s private cellar to be sold to collectors, history buffs and wine lovers.
The first lots of thousands of wines ranging in vintages from 1945 to 1976 have been released by Peter Lehmann’s wife Margaret and sons David and Phil after being catalogued and many tasted by Barossa-based vintage wine expert Jeremy Holmes.
The cellar, which Peter Lehmann thought of as a “museum” or “library” was always considered more than just a collection for old wines’ sake.
He used its contents as his reference points so he could relate back to vintage conditions, varieties, blends and technical data.
Australian legend ... the late wine pioneer Peter Lehmann. Picture: Sam Mooy Source: News Limited
Before Peter died in 2013 it had become far too full, Margaret said.
“He never did anything in half measures,” she said.
Many of the bottles to be sold carry with them powerful memories for Margaret and family — from the year the much loved pair wed to the birth dates of their children.
“There’s always a story in every bottle,” Margaret says.
Sharing their collection ... Margaret Lehmann in the family cellar which contains thousands of bottles and is considered an important library of Australian winemaking history. Picture: Mark Brake Source: News Limited
It was Peter’s wish before he died to let others experience his museum, sections of which Jeremy Holmes considers snapshots in time of the Australian wine industry.
“We’ve been privileged to taste many of the wines and they are indeed true national treasures,” Mr Holmes said.
Looking back ...the late Peter Lehmann, one of Australia’s most well known wine makers. Source: News Corp Australia
“This is a once in a lifetime chance to access Australian winemaking history where the quality and provenance of the bottles is guaranteed,” he said.
The first release includes vintage ports from as far back as 1945 as well as Saltram clarets from 1948-1953 and Saltram shiraz from most years between 1954-1976. Prices range from $120 to $999 per bottle and each wine will be checked, re-corked and sealed by Margaret Lehmann’s winemaker sons David and Phil.
Further releases will continue five to six times a year.