Lorraine Leheny and Warren Gibson of Bilancia began the Yarra Valley project called Leheny Gibson as a collaboration and experiment in the Australian style. "Lorraine and Warren have a much broader and also more focussed approach to the Chardonnay variety than most wine enthusiasts are aware of. They have created the Leheny Gibson label which is a representation of their collaborative work with their Australian winegrowing friends in the Yarra Valley, Australia (Lorraine hails from Melbourne, so this is familiar territory). It is an exploration of the contemporary Chardonnay style outside of their home in Hawke’s Bay. They have sourced fruit from the Gladysdale district in the cooler Upper Yarra, and made their wines, employing hand-picked fruit, skin and whole bunch input, higher solids in the ferment and natural yeasts for fermentation and MLF. Larger oak formats for maturation are preferred. Lorraine and Warren’s aim "is for wines with extra-added interest, a slightly crooked leg that adds to the appeal rather than detracts”. -- The Chardonnays that Warren and Lorraine make incorporate sulphides which are part of the outcomes of modern winemaking. The complexity here joins detail and other layers of interest from the overall winemaking approach. Their approach is holistic, with the primary aim, as noted above, of having wines that begin their lives elegant and taut, but developing richness and interest with age." Raymond Chan
What The Critics Say
96/100 Bob Campbell MW
"The third wine tasted in a four-vintage line-up from 2014 to 2011. The first three wines show a strong stylistic connection, with a thread of mineral influence and strong lees and reductive characters and a core of tree and citrus fruits. Bottle age has made this wine a little fleshier, a feature that is assisted by slightly less apparent acidity. Impressively lengthy with a rich, almost warming texture." Drink 2017 - 2019
18.5/20 Raymond Chan
"Bright straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter on the rim. This has a very elegant and tightly bound bouquet, the aromatics slender in proportion unfolding detail and intricately interwoven notes of white stonefruits, gunflint and minerals, along with nutty and smoky elements. This has proportion and intensity that grows in the glass. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant and delicate, quite slender in presentation, with tightly bound and restrained flavours of white stonefruits, gunflint, minerals and nutty, smoky notes. The fruit possesses richness and the wine flows softly along a very fine textured line with integrated acidity, leading to a delicate, subtle finish. Match with seafood and poultry over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked Chardonnay fruit from Gladysdale, indigenous yeast barrel-fermented with some skin and whole bunch input, and high solids to 13.5% alc., the wine aged approx. 9 months primarily in 500 L puncheons, around 10% new, with no batonnage, and a natural balance of MLF. A long and slow growing season with an Indian Summer for great flavour development. 18.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $39.95." Drink 2017 - 2021
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