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: Lethbridge Wines

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Lethbridge Wines

www.lethbridgewines.com

74 Burrows Rd, Lethbridge, 3222

Cellar Door: Fri-Sun/pub hols (1030 - 5) or by appointment

Ph: (03) 5281 7221

Lethbridge wines from the Henty region

house
Lethbridge in winter (photo:genxywines)
label

Lethbridge was founded by three scientists: Ray Nadeson (a neuroscientist), his partner Maree Collis (a biotech) and their friend Adrian Thomas (a cardiovascular physician) in 1996. Ray and Maree got wine-making qualifications from Charles Sturt and have started to fulfil their passion for French style wines.

Since 2004 their efforts have been assisted by the master blending consultant, Doug Neal, who spent 15 years with Rick Kinzbrunner at the iconic Giaconda winery as well as stints in Burgundy and California and runs the fantastic Paradise IV label

The estate vineyard is two distinct soil types - one is a black clay while the other is a sandy clay loams with some ironstone. The vineyard utilises minimalist biodynamic methods, wild yeast fermentation, small open fermenters and is seeking full organic accreditation.

They also have access to vineyards in the Geelong area at Mount Duneed and Bannockburn. Varieties include: Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, Viognier, Sangiovese Brunello, Cabernet Franc and Semillon. They also source Carmenere (a rare Bordeaux variety) from Amietta for a Cabernet Carmenere blend.

The stunning Cote du Rhone-like Shiraz, Sancerre-inspired Sauvignon Blanc and the Kabinett Riesling (from Portland) has made this a winery to watch.

ray
Lethbridge's cellar door is based on the French style where the winemaker (this time its Ray) sits at the table and talks about the wines rather than the conventional Australian bar-style cellar door (photo:genxywines)
cellar outside
Lethbridge's cellar door from the outside (photo:genxywines)
Maree
Maree Collis tending to winter vines (Photo Rodger Cummins)
winery
Inside the winery (photo:genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2017, 30% whole bunch, from a warm vintage, perfumed, powerful and focussed black cherry and plum with herb and game complexity emerging, linear and earthy palate with firm but fine tannins and restrained spicy French oak (****1/2)

Lethbridge Geelong Shiraz 2010

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: July 2013, juicy and medium bodied blackberry, redcurrant and blueberry with black pepper, savoury meat and dried thyme notes, supple with a spine of dusty tannins and graphite minerality, ample smoky cinnamon/cedar oak with some savouriness on the finish (****)

Lethbridge Indra Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: July 2013, highly perfumed, creamy black cherries, herbal meat and plum with pronounced violet and black olive notes, medium-full bodied with graphite minerality, rich charry chocolate/cinnamon/cedar oak with some savoury bacon aspects to the finish, firmish powdery tannins, fruit seems to dry out a little prematurely (possibly a product of the March 2008 heatwave) but is otherwise a very good, complex wine (****)

Lethbridge Que Syra’h Syrah 2012

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: July 2013, their entry level, juicy and silky light-medium body plum and redcurrants with a dusting of peppery spice and violet florals, open knit tannins, fairly basic drink soon wine (***)

Lethbridge Mietta Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink:

(GXY) Tasting:  Oct 2012, fuller, muscular, gamy and riper style showing redcurrant and plums with rose petal, barnyard, olive and leather notes, lively stemmy acid backbone  with loose knit dusty tannins,  sweet and toasty oak spices (***1/2)

Lethbridge Menage A Noir Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting:  Oct 2012, this is their entry level Pinot Noir, light-medium bodied strawberry and plums with white pepper, rhubarb and flat sarsparilla notes, unlike their premiums this is not particularly complex but has some modest earthy complexity and some sappy herbal acidity on the finish (***)

Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2012, perfumed black cherry and dark plum and violets in a medium bodied, earthy style, after a good swirl some asian spices, game and anise notes emerged, balanced toasty clove/cedar oak in support, good lively acid backbone and supple, fine tannins (****)

Lethbridge Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, 100% barrel ferment in a complex and textured Sancerre style, funky and perfumed passionfruit, nectarine and elderberry with light touch of nettles and flinty oyster shell minerality, some mid-palate creaminess without ever getting stale, terrific drive and line from the bright natural acidity, a style that has been rarely achieved with such success anywhere in Australasia (*****)

Lethbridge C'est la Gris Pinot Gris 2010

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, Silver Medal at Geelong Wine Show 2010, wild ferment with 80% barrel ferment in large French barrels, rich, leesy and funky showing nashi pear skin, nougat, spice and honeysuckle, finely textured with tangy natural acidity, very good line and drive in an accomplished Alsatian style (****1/2)

Lethbridge Ooo la la Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, sourced from Leura Park on the Bellarine Peninsula, underwent natural malo, silky and cleanly defined nectarine, red apple and melon with matchstick and biscuit notes, some lanolin on the mid-palate, a light touch of warm cinnamon oak spice from the restrained French oak (10% new), the best part is the vibrant tangy natural acidity that gives ths plenty of drive and thrust (****1/2)

Lethbridge Carmenere Cabernet 2009

Purchased: Cellar Door ($38)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, the Carmenere is sourced from the Amietta Vineyard, 60% Carmenere, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, aromatic, medium bodied and leafy blackcurrant, redcurrant and black cherry with savoury, graphite, mint and pepper notes, even and well balanced palate with some firm tea-like tannins on the persistent finish (****)

Lethbridge Menage a Noir Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, sourced from four Bannockburn sub-region vineyards, linear, meaty and robust sour black cherry and redcurrant with black pepper and savoury/earthy notes, has some foresty and silky elegance with firm, linear tannins and lingering natural acidity, more than a nod to the Nuit - St. Georges Burgundy style (****)

Lethbridge Indra Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($55)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: June 2011, estate grown from one of the earliest Shiraz clones imported to Australia,3% Viognier, greater concentration than the standard, silky blackberry and plum with violet, roast savoury meat and olive notes, medium-full bodied with a streak of graphite minerality, the charry chocolate/cnnamon/cedar oak also brings some savoury bacon aspects to the finish, firm and drying tannins (****)

Lethbridge Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, this is the standard, lower in the pecking order than the Indra Shiraz but is rather good in a Cote du Rhone-ish way, smoky, medium bodied blackberry and blueberry with black pepper and savoury meat aspects, supple and texturally infused with dusty tannins and graphite minerality, very good line and length, my only quibble is some twitchy acidity (****1/2)

Lethbridge Allegro Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, whole bunch pressed, floral nose, complex, leesy and vibrant nectarine and melon with gun flint, wheatmeal and nougat, bright tangy citrus acids with the oak bringing vanilla-cinnamon aspects to the long minerally finish (****)

Lethbridge Menage Que Syrah Syrah 2008

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, fleshy and medium bodied redcurrant and blackberry with liquorice and cracked black pepper notes, fine savoury tannins, 30% new French oak brings spicy cedar-vanilla to the finish (***1/2)

Lethbridge C’est La Gris Pinot Gris 2009

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, sourced from the Leura Park vineyard, 25% barrel fermented, crisp and minerally pear and apple with almond and toasty honeysuckle nuances, fresh lemony acids, easy bistro quaffing style (***)

Lethbridge Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Vintage Cellars, South Melb ($24) but normally $35

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: May 2010, Cote-du-Rhone inspired style, a little ripe but has plenty of rustic charm, blackberry and plum with black pepper and charred meat notes, long, supple and medium bodied with the French oak bringing cedar-clove-cinnamon to the finish, fine dusty tannins with a fresh cut of acid (***1/2)

Lethbridge Pinot Gris 2006

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, spicy pear with a hint of cinnamon and grapefruit, sweet honeyed palate, citric finish (***1/2)

Lethbridge Menage Que Syrah Syrah 2005

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, bright red cherry and plum with clove hints, peppery medium bodied palate, smooth and well balanced, cedar-vanilla oak, subtle tannins (***1/2)

Lethbridge Regent Pinot Noir 2005

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2006, black cherry and spicy plum, savoury medium bodied palate, good depth and balance with vanilla-choc oak, silky tannins (***1/2)