LEHENY GIBSON is our ‘side project’, showcasing wines from beyond our normal Hawke's Bay roots, wines from classic wine regions that are stretching the boundaries of style and quality….….oh, and some Olive Oil, maybe white wine vinegar….family projects!
LEHENY GIBSON are projects in motion.
Chardonnay can be a fickle beast. It can be in fashion, out of fashion (ABC - Anything but Chardonnay), unfashionable, unforgettable. Oaked, un-oaked, over-oaked. People generally divide their preference for Chardonnay into one of two camps, fat or skinny (for want of better terms!). We would like to give you the option of both but with far nicer descriptors.
Well made Chardonnay that is made in a tighter (skinnier) style invariably opens up and broadens (fattens) as the wine gets older. The 'fatness' develops over time rather than be made into the wine.
In 2011, we commenced a winemaking project that has enabled us to extend the latitude of our Chardonnay winemaking, working with winemaking friends in Australia to create wine from outside our Hawke's Bay roots. Melbourne is Lorraine's hometown and the Yarra Valley produces some of the finest Chardonnays.
The fruit for these Yarra Valley Chardonnays is sourced from areas of the cooler, upper Yarra, around the town of Gladysdale. From vintage to vintage, the winemaking employed is quite similar but as always, there are some vintage variations with each wine.
Hand picked fruit, some skins and whole bunches in the ferment, higher solids, no yeast or MLF inoculation, and large format oak where possible for aging. The aim is for wines with extra ,added interest, a slightly crooked leg that adds to the appeal rather than detracts. An interesting palate that is tight when young, opening up and broadening with age. Chardonnay that goes well with food.
Recent Tasting Notes for each vintage of Leheny Gibson Chardonnay
Earlier this year we tasted each of the wines blind and wrote tasting notes for them. Brief and to the point.
You will find these notes on each page.
Leheny Gibson Chardonnay 2014
The 2014 season in the Yarra Valley was a concentrated year, with very low yields, but very high quality. Tasted January 2017 "Some nice funk/reduction characters. The fruit is a bit more obvious in this wine. More youthful. Great line and length and a bit tighter. Nice balance." .
Leheny Gibson Chardonnay 2013
Tasted January 2017 "Rich and complex with some aged Semillon like notes. Toasty and pure. Palate is very long and mouth filling. Slightly more colour. Nice bottle development."
Leheny Gibson Chardonnay 2012
Tasted January 2017 "Pure, clean and nutty on the palate with great length. Complex yet restrained. Very food friendly. Rich, fresh and attractive. Together. Balanced."
Leheny Gibson Chardonnay 2011
Tasted January 2017 "More colour/more yellow. Rich and complex with great weight and great length on the palate. Rich and powerful. Nutty, Hazelnut, rich and complex . Appears to have the most age but in a positive way."