Peter Lehmann, the renowned Barossa producer, is abandoning its iconic ‘playing card’ labels in a bid to make the brand more consistent.
The makeover is timed to coincide with Peter Lehmann’s 30th anniversary: Peter Lehmann founded his winery in 1979, releasing the first vintage under his name in 1981.
He had first called the winery Masterson – after Sky Masterson, the gambler hero of Damon Runyon’s classic story which became the musical Guys and Dolls.
The Queen of Clubs remains the company’s logo.
But now the idiosyncratic labels commissioned from Australian artists in the mid-1990s are giving way to a new range with more consistency, designed by global branding company Interbrand.
‘The range had become too convoluted,’ Paul Turale, Peter Lehmann’s global marketing manager, told Decanter.com.
Under new labelling are the entry-level range – the Art Series – followed by the Portrait, Futures, Masters ranges and the icon range headed by the top cuvee, the Stonewell Shiraz.
The change is not simply cosmetic, senior winemaker Ian Hongell said: styles have been ‘tweaked’ at all levels.
At the entry level the Sauvignon Blanc will be in a ‘softer style’ while the Riesling will have more residual sugar to give ‘a sweeter style to suit the newly recruited Lehmann drinker,’ he said.
At the same time the higher-level Portrait and Futures series will have more ‘spine’, Hongell said.
‘There will be a wider differential between the ranges. There’s a real toning down of Australian Shiraz – it will be more restrained, more international in style, with the focus on fruit, lower alcohol, and less oak.’
The re-branded ranges will be aimed at the restaurant trade and smaller independent wine merchants at first, with new ranges branded in consultation with individual supermarkets to come later.
The style of the top cuvees will remain unchanged.
Peter Lehmann’s Wigan Riesling 2005 won the Australian Riesling Over £10 Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards this year.
Written by Adam Lechmere