While the first Liebichwein sparkling wine project began as simply producing a wine for the family, it is now available as a limited release. We are over the moon with this Lovely Sparkling wine!
You may be asking, why have we made a sparkling and why has it taken us so long?
It’s no secret that Janet’s favourite wine style is fizz and our whole family enjoy sharing bubbles with friends and family.Ron has been experimenting with growing a variety of Pinot Noir clones and making the odd dry red which he’s been pretty happy with, but he was up for a new challenge. A trip to the Champagne region in 2014 was the inspiration needed for Ron to explore the realm of Traditional Method sparkling.
We knew we needed help with this project so we enlisted the support of Sean and Sue Delaney of Sinclair’s Gully and Simon Greenleaf who make fine wines in the Adelaide Hills. They all encouraged us to have a go and were willing to share their tips and provide access to their equipment. Excitedly, we embarked on the collaboration.
The Lovely Sparkling story started early in vintage 2014 when we handpicked our own Pinot Noir destined to be the sparkling base wine. This was then blended with fresher Pinot base wine from vintage 2016 to build complexity. In late 2017, we arranged a few rounds of dedicated tasting trials to get the balance of body and sweetness just right. The wine is hand-disgorged, dosaged, capped and labelled to order. We decided to use our own Ruby Fortified Grenache for dosage to add sweetness and a pink hue.
The next steps were to think of a suitable name and package. We chose the name ‘Lovely’ for a number of reasons. Our family name Liebich is very close to the German word ‘lieblich’ which means ‘lovely’, the Barossa Valley maintains strong German heritage, and of course the wine is pretty lovely to look at, sip and savour.
Taste Notes Inspired by love and heritage, this blushing beauty offers tantalising strawberry and toasted brioche aromas leading to a lively palate that finishes dry to semi-dry. Simply lovely!
Quantities and strictly limited as each bottle is disgorged and labelled by hand.
A magical spot where you feel on top of the world.
This view is high up in the Barossa Ranges between Steingarten Road and Trial Hill Road. The ‘Steingarten’ (meaning stone garden) vineyard was planted in the 1960’s by the Gramp family who were inspired by the narrow vineyards planted on stoney ground in areas of Northern Germany.
To see for yourself, ask in cellar door for directions and you’ll be blown away (quite literally in winter) in only a few minutes drive from our cellar door.
Liebich Lofty Cabernet Sauvignon is wine of great quality and character dedicated to Ron’s father, “Lofty” (Lesley Alwyn) Liebich (1916-1953) who was a man with high ideals. Produced in special vintages since 1992 when the cellar door was established.
Single vineyard wine sourced from the old 40 acre block, planted by Clarence Walter “Darkie” Liebich in 1969. Dead arm affliction reduces yield but enhances flavour as does the use of hand-pruning and minimal irrigation. The vines grow on heavy black biscay soil at Rowland Flat on the eastern foothills of the Barossa.
Special museum stock is released as it becomes available. The last vintage 2006 (now sold out) was a very good growing season resulting in an extremely low yield of 1 tonne per acre. Traditional techniques of hand plunging, basket-pressing with no fining or filtration were employed for fuller flavour.
A typical Liebichwein Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich and enticing wine exhibiting violet and spiced blackberry fruit nuances perfectly balanced with the subtle oak after maturation for over five years in various aged French oak barrels. Super concentrated flavours and ultra silky tannins. This style of Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon will always be good drinking and will reward patience with bottle maturation for at least 15-20 years, especially under screw cap.
Spring in the Barossa is one of our favourite times of year. Everything is freshly renewed as vines take shape and form bushy leaf growth – a sight to behold.?Vineyards are looking so pretty with shades of green everywhere. Cover crops appear between vineyard rows and roses start to flower along the end of rows. The Barossa Ranges slowly change from bright green to yellowy brown as temperatures move from crisp chills to warm sunny days. It’s such a delicate time of year for grape growers and winemakers. Budburst kicks in and we watch conditions that help shape the quality of the fruit for next vintage.
Vintage 2018 for Liebichwein has been another solid season for quality with yields slightly lower overall.
There was an even mild growing ripening season with some bursts of heat early in Summer that made us a little nervous about quality. Grapes started ripening almost two weeks earlier than usual and we commenced picking in the first week of March. Some of the varieties used for fortified like Frontignac and Semillon don?t hold up so well in the heat, so these got picked earlier than usual. A long extended dry period into April allowed Grenache to hang on until we could pick at full-flavour and colour, though the crop was down a little.
On the whole, fortified wine stocks are in good supply and now maturing slowly in barrels. A few reds are maturing in barrel and there were no white wines made this year. As an aside, the table grapes we grow for personal use were of excellent quality providing us with fruit from January to May.
The Liebich family have been passionate about wine in the Barossa Valley for almost 100 years. This is a brief look at what was happening around Australia and the Barossa region when Ron and Janet first established the Liebichwein label 25 years ago. Ron is the third generation winemaker to be based in Rowland Flat, South Australia and he’s preparing for his 49th Barossa vintage at age 71.
What happened in Australia in 1992?
Artists in the Top 10 Australian music charts included Billy Ray Cyrus, Guns ?n Roses and Whitney Houston
Average petrol price was 68 c/L
The cost of a postage stamp was increased from 43 cents to 45 cents
The Australian 1 and 2 cent coins were withdrawn from circulation
The Prime minister was Paul Keating
The first WOMADelaide music festival?was held at Botanic Park as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts
The Cricket World Cup was held in Australia and New Zealand where Pakistan?defeated England?in the final at the MCG by 22 runs
The AFL grand final was won by West Coast Eagles, the first non-Victorian team to win
There were about 700 wineries in Australia, now there are well over 2500 (over 150 in the Barossa region)
What happened in Barossa Valley in 1992?
The estimated population of the Barossa Valley council area was 18,000 (now 24,500)
A mixed vintage for wine quality since the warmer regions like the Barossa didn?t receive the heat normally required to deliver the typically concentrated and rich reds wines.
The?Barossa Valley railway line?past Penrice junction was officially declared closed, 18 year later the track between Angaston and Nuriootpa was lifted and a shared path for bikes and pedestrians was put in place
The winery shed was built in Rowland Flat where Liebichwein cellar door still is today
Liebichwein Cellar Door opened in December 1992 operating on weekends only
Steingarten Road in Rowland Flat was known as Narrow Road
Ron was reigning grape treading champion of the Barossa Vintage Festival
The first range of Liebich table wines: 1992 Cabernet Sauvignon, 1993 Shiraz, 1992 Riesling of the Valleys (Barossa fruit grown by Ron blended with some Clare Valley Riesling grapes)
The first Liebich fortified wines: Classic Old Barossa Tawny, Benno Port, Ron’s Blend, Keg Blend
Tending the fruit for Ron’s first Riesling Traminer blend dedicated to his dear mother Lorna as it was her favourite style to drink (trophy winner in 1993 for best sweet white at the Barossa Wine Show)
Ron started planting Merlot, Grenache and Semillon vineyards to complement the older Shiraz and Cabernet in the?40 acre block inherited from older generations