Max & Me2019-01-09T22:05:59+00:00

About Max & Me

Max & Me wine and olive oil, by Phil and Sarah Lehmann, was born from chance meeting between Sarah, a ballet dancer, and Max, Phil’s dog, during a 2003 performance in the Barossa. The encounter was fortuitous and the trio were soon inseparable. Phil & Sarah’s creative philosophies have coincided to produce small batch wines and olive oil, with a terroir-based philosophy centred on their beautiful Eden Valley Property, Boongarrie Estate.

Boongarrie Estate & its Vineyard

Boongarrie Estate is Phil and Sarah’s property in the Eden Valley, in the Barossa Ranges. The sedimentary soils are thin and underlain with rose quartz and siltstone. The landscape is undulating and studded with ancient redgums and rocky outcrops. At 460m above sea-level, the elevation tempers the summer days and provides cool air flow during the nights, ideal for nuanced and mineral flavours in the wines.
On suitable sites within the property, 10 hectares is planted to vineyard (half Shiraz and half Cabernet Sauvignon est. 1998), and a 4 hectare Olive grove planted to Manzanilla Cacereña, Penduleno and Kalamata (est 2004). 
The philosophy for managing the land is to look after the soils and use minimal chemical inputs; biodiversity in midrow grass and weed populations is encouraged and pest and disease pressures are minimal. Sheep and cattle graze the vineyard grasses during winter, and European species of dung-beetles have been introduced to recycle the animal manure as fertiliser, improving the fertility, water retention and structure.

News & Reviews

Wine Review: ‘Riesling turns on the power’

– by Tony Love –
SA Weekend pp. 29, The Adelaide Advertiser, 15-16 September 2018
Max & Me | 2018  Mirooloo Road Eden Valley Riesling | RRP $30

RIESLING is one very fluid grape. We know it here mostly in its guise as a fresh and crisp dry white wine, zinging with its natural fruit acidity that’s key to the variety’s tingling line and length, vital in many wines’ pithy and taut mouthfeel.
Further winemaking with this noble grape goes beyond the usual practices, which usually employs the freshest first juices released after gentle crushing or pressing. Now we are seeing more wines with skin contact, or the use of juice pressed off the skins to provide more fullness in texture from chemical compounds known as phenolics.
Phil and Sarah Lehmannhave done this superbly in their Max and Me 2018 Riesling ($30) from the Eden Valley, and while the bottle label refers to the site as an important influencer in this wine, their stylistic approach makes the major statement.

It’s a riesling with what winemakers call “texture”, slightly more unctuous in mouthfeel, its varietal lime notes creamier, yet in the finish still deftly supported with deliciously toned acidity.
“It’s undoubtedly a powerfully flavoured wine,” Phil says.
It’s a riesling that drinks with more medium weight sensibilities, ready now as well as for a few more years development and maturity.
In this wine, Phil echoes his mentor, riesling master John Vickery, who has always queried the point of making riesling that takes years to fully open and grow all its flavour when you can let it ripen up a little more on the vine, treat it carefully and it will be brimming with flavour from the start.
Try this Max and Me 2018 Riesling and you’ll get the idea.

Wine Review: Max & Me’s ‘seriously lovely’ Syrah

– by Dave Brookes –
The Adelaide Review, https://www.adelaidereview.com.au/food-and-drink/wine/wine-review-max-me-seriously-lovely-syrah/, Sep 3, 2018
Max & Me | 2017 Boongarrie Vineyard Eden Valley Syrah | RRP $50

Syrah vs Shiraz. In Australia, the nomenclature often sheds light on a winemaker’s desire to indicate something different is going on with a particular wine.
For wines that are bottled under the banner ‘Syrah’, there is a pretty good chance that the wine is likely to lean towards a more savoury, European-style rendition of the grape variety rather than the fruit-forward, dense, opulent red wines that we have a reputation for being rather good at.
In this particular case, Eden Valley winemaker Phil Lehmann does indeed treat his Syrah a little differently than the Shiraz that also hails from his Boongarrie vineyard. For starters, it is harvested a little earlier and there is a significant whole bunch component (30 per cent) in the small ferments.

We’ve chatted about whole bunches in ferments before, yeah? When done well, and in vintages when the prevailing conditions are conducive to their use, they seem to open a wine up and let a little more light shine on the fruit. A little more clarity and detail along with notes of spice and a distinct mineral line on the palate.
And here they are spot on, with a gorgeous vibrant colour and stunning aromatic profile providing an immediate insight in the glass. The fruit purity is off the charts. Cherry and plummy fruits abound, flecked with violets and spice, the wine is perfectly poised on the palate with great tension and a supple, slinky mouthfeel.
It is a seriously lovely wine, good to tuck away over the medium-term but reality would suggest it is probably too drinkable for that.

MAX & ME 2017 Boongarrie Vineyard Syrah

Wine Review

– by Toni Paterson MW –
www.therealreview.com, Aug 18, 2018
Max & Me | 2016 Boongarrie Vineyard Eden Valley Shiraz | RRP $60

From the Boongarrie Vineyard in the cool Eden Valley comes this succulent, plush shiraz. The fruit is in the dark sphere with fleshy cherries, blackberries and a touch of red rose.

It is weighty and flavoursome, yet gentle and soft. 09 Aug 2018


Wine Review

– by Nick Bullied MW –
Gourmet Traveller WINE June July 2018
Max & Me | 2015 Boongarrie Vineyard Eden Valley Shiraz

2015 Max & Me Boongarrie Vineyard Estate Grown (A$60) gets the sweet/savoury combination just right, with red fruits, spices, a touch of dried herbs and nicely handled oak. The palate is elegantly structured and has lovely length. “Refined red and black fruits with a touch of liquorice,” [Toni] Paterson found.

“The palate is beautifully savoury and restrained. A youthful and primary wine with impressive concentration and layers of fine tannin. Excellent cellaring potential.” Here’s another outstanding wine from the hand of 2017 Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year finalist Phil Lehmann

★★★★ 93

Wine Review

– by Campbell Mattinson –
http://www.winefront.com.au, Posted on 30 October 2017
Max & Me | 2015 Boongarrie Vineyard Eden Valley Shiraz

Single vineyard shiraz from the Eden/Barossa. All French oak.
Yes. It’s in an excellent place. Well fruited, well balanced, well styled. Blueberry and plum, graphite and mocha, liquorice. Some gum leaf lift. An array of spices. To smell, to taste, to savour: its has it all covered. Tannin is in the fine print. Just gorgeous.

Rated : 94 Points
Alcohol : 14.4%
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2018 – 2028+

Wine Review

– by Campbell Mattinson –
http://www.winefront.com.au, Posted on 30 October 2017
Max & Me | 2017  Mirooloo Road Eden Valley Riesling | RRP$30

New or newish range of wines from Phil and Sarah Lehmann out of the Eden Valley.
Pale colour but with a lovely tinge of green. It’s all just golden, in quality terms, from there. Lemon and lime with spots of kaffir leaf and spice. It’s expressive and flavoursome but it crackles and soars out through the finish. A perfect young riesling. Succulent-but-well-honed flavour. Incredibly enjoyable right now, but with a future.

Rated : 93+ Points
Alcohol : 12.5%
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2017 – 2027+

Wine Review

– by Campbell Mattinson –
http://www.winefront.com.au, Posted on 30 October 2017
Max & Me | 2015 Boongarrie Vineyard Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Eden Valley cabernet sauvignon. It sees 18 months in French oak hogsheads and barriques. From a low-crop year: this cabernet was cropped at 1.3 tonne/hectare.
Essence of cabernet. Violets, sage, blackcurrant, a general dustiness, plenty of fruit and plenty of tannin. Gum leaf. Some alcohol warmth. Beautiful integration of oak. A smoky, hay-like character. Lovely stuff.

Rated : 92 Points
Alcohol : 14.6%
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2020 – 2030+

Evolving On Tradition

– by Dave Brookes –
The Adelaide Review, Food & Drink, March 2017 pp.50
Max & Me | 2015 Boongarrie Vineyard Eden Valley Shiraz | RRP $60

This little beauty is the work of Phil and Sarah Lehmann from their own property in the Central Range of the Eden Valley. Phil, the youngest son of Margaret and Peter Lehmann, obviously has wine in his veins and a deep connection to the Barossa. This particular wine from Phil and Sarah’s lovely property between Keyneton and the Eden Valley township is just a beautiful, pure expression of how good Eden Valley Shiraz can be.

Phil says he’s coined the term “Central Range” for the area because “we are the middle range of hills in the Eden Valley. You won’t find that term in no fancy book though!” The vineyard is farmed uncertified organic and the 2015 vintage was incredibly low yielding coming in at 0.3t/ac. The wine is fermented in in picking bins and held on skins for 12 days before aging on light lees in a mix of old and new French oak hogsheads and puncheons.

Bright red/purple in the glass, the aromas show gorgeous purity with a vibrant, perfumed aspect which draws you into the glass. Plum, blueberry, blackberry and the higher tones of mulberry and cranberry all come into focus. There are hints of spice, licorice, earth, jasmine, hoi sin and beautifully judged vanillin French oak. While the aromatic profile is enchanting, it is in the mouth that the wine impresses most, with a bright, floral-flecked fruit entry, great clarity and detail, enviable fruit purity and a bright, mineral drive across the palate.There is a spacious feel to the wine’s shape but the underlying fruit is gorgeously ripe and opulent, never feeling heavy or laboured on the palate, brisk and pulsating with energy. The finish lingers persistently with dark fruit flavours, jasmine, spice and ripe, fine tannin with bright acidity. An exciting new wine.

~ Dave Brookes

Get In Touch

Do you have a question about Max & Me, our vineyards, or any of our wines?
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And if in the Barossa, please visit our Tasting Room @ the Eden Valley Hotel, open 7 days, 12-5pm