- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Peter Lehmann, “Clancy’s,” Barossa Valley, 2003, $16

A mix of roughly equal parts shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, along with a smaller amount of merlot, this proprietary blend from the Barossa Valley in South Australia consistently offers fine value. The 2003 rendition is as good an example as I have sampled to

date. Rich and full, it shows plenty of stuffing but has soft tannins, so proves deliciously accessible. Few $16 reds made anywhere come close to being as good.

One of the things that has made Australian red wines so popular on these shores is their uncanny ability to taste rich and full-bodied without being particularly tannic or astringent.

This renders them very satisfying when young, and makes them especially good choices for drinkers who possess neither the patience nor the storage facilities to age the wines they buy. Yet a top Australian red like this most definitely will benefit from cellaring, becoming more nuanced and supple over time.

So no matter your buying preferences, “Clancy’s” is well worth trying.

The satisfying primary dark fruit flavors in this wine are supported by secondary spicy notes, making it an attractive partner for equally flavorful meat dishes. Because softness is one of its primary attributes, it will pair best with comparably textured dishes. Beef tenderloin would be ideal. (Imported by the Hess Collection.)

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