What happens when you are establishing a career in the field of science? You fall in love with wine and create a boutique winery of course. Lethbridge started in the mid 90s and for Ray and Maree the pull was so strong that they made it their sole focus in 2003. The sites are carefully selected, the grapes are picked healthy and ripe and allowed to do their own thing so long as they behave. The wines at a glance look understated and simple. But with time and food they grow and evolve. Very lovely drinking to be had here.
From the low cropping Suma Park Vineyard, this was hand picked, whole bunch pressed and completely fermented in new French oak. Talk about getting some love. This wine doesn’t jump out of the glass, you have to swirl and sniff and give it some of your attention. But it will reward you with citrus and nuts, hints of a mineral/flint and a palate that is structure yet restrained with just the right amount of mid-palate fat to make you want something to eat. I’d be leaning for something a bit salty and tangy like sardines. This wine will develop weight and savoury notes in the bottle over the next few years.
Geelong – Within the GI of Geelong there is some distinctly different climates, diverse soil profiles and strong personalities. And it helps that there are quite a few producers making interesting and exciting wines here. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz all excel but in the right site there are plenty of other varieties that can do well.
Chardonnay – The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation.