Lethbridge Wines

Moorabool Mojo: Wines for the Heart & Head
Lethbridge Wines
We are delighted to present Lethbridge Wines for the first time. Our excitement will come as no surprise to those who know the wines and the characters behind them. Few growers across the world could have pursued their dream of planting a vineyard with such rigour as Maree Collis and Ray Nadeson. Starting in 1993, these wine-obsessed scientists spent three years scouring Victoria for their perfect site, poring over maps and analysing soils, rocks and weather patterns. The search ended with a piece of land in the heart of Geelong’s Moorabool Valley. They did not know it then, but the same patch of dirt could trace its viticultural roots back to 1874 when it was planted by Swiss immigrants before phylloxera devastated the region’s vineyards.

Sitting at 270 metres elevation and 30 kilometres northwest of Geelong, the Lethbridge vineyard is the Moorabool Valley’s coolest site. The site’s thin black-clay topsoils lie over two tongues of ancient lava flows—bluestone and honeycomb basalt—formed by volcanic activity 30-50,000 years ago. In Nadeson’s hands, these rocky, low-vigour soils and the site’s cool, dry, windy climate help to yield layered wines of impressive intensity, driving freshness, and no lack of provenance.

Of course, Ray and Maree also source fruit from several sites across the broader Geelong region and beyond. Like the Lethbridge home site, these plots are selected for their ability to slowly ripen low yields while maintaining high levels of natural acidity, while farming philosophies mirror those of the Lethbridge ethos. In the cellar, Nadeson follows his instinct as much as his intellect. Together with his right-hand man, Crimea-born winemaker Vasily Pestretsov, Ray explains that they “frame nature” by removing little and adding less.

Regardless of its provenance, each Lethbridge wine is an honest expression of its site, season and soil. They are not, in the main, primary, fruit-forward wines. Instead, they follow their own muse, leading with structure, texture, savouriness and definitive freshness (merits writ large in the Reserve wines in particular, which age in bottle for three years before release). The Chardonnays are deep, chiselled wines flecked with mineral and floral nuance, while Lethbridge’s Pinots are prized for their succulent freshness allied to classy, age-supporting structures. You will find plenty more to delve into and can view the full range here. In the meantime, here are some gems to welcome you into the sensual, cerebral realm of Lethbridge!

The Wines

Lethbridge 'il regalo di compleanno' Nebbiolo 2019
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Lethbridge 'il regalo di compleanno' Nebbiolo 2019

Lethbridge has produced a Nebbiolo from the Malakoff Vineyard in the Pyrenees near Landsborough for 10 consecutive years. This celebrated site—owned and operated by Cameron and Robert John—features a moderate slope first planted in 1997 at 300 metres with a well-sheltered northeast aspect. The soils are rich in red ferrous clay, with large amounts of ironstone and quartz littered throughout.

The farming doctrine at Malakoff mirrors that of Lethbridge, with sustainability and soil health as top priorities. Ray and Maree work closely with the Johns each year and are intimately involved in the decisions for their chosen blocks (they work with the same blocks and take 100% of the fruit) to ensure yields are kept low and the fruit is picked at optimal ripeness.

The 2019 release saw a long, cool fermentation on skins and extended maceration for 40 days (a total of 60 days on skins). The wine matured for 24 months in oak, the first year in puncheons and the second in foudre. The wine matured further in bottle for two years before release. By the way, the name, which translates to ‘birthday present’, dates back to 2013 when Maree sourced two tonnes of Nebbiolo from Robert John as a surprise for Ray’s birthday.

“This fuller-weighted wine often flies under the radar. It is invariably a thrilling expression when seen through the lens of Australian nebbiolo, an exciting category if not a small one. Aromas of cherry cola, leather varnish, orange peel, clove and Australian scrub. The tannins, frisky but nicely managed, doused in licorice root. The finish is of good length and intensity, if not just a bit sweet. Drink or hold. Screw cap.”
92 points, Ned Goodwin MW, jamessuckling.com
“Nebbiolo from Malakoff vineyard, 60 days on skins and matured for 12 months in puncheons followed by another 12 months in foudre. A light, bright brick. Lifted with aromas of red cherries, dried herbs, tobacco and worn leather. There's no mistaking what this is on the palate, either, with its sweet core of fruit that soon gives way to nebbiolo tannins that are firm and persistent yet polished and balanced, too.”
92 points, Philip Rich, Wine Companion
Lethbridge 'il regalo di compleanno' Nebbiolo 2019
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Lethbridge Allegra Chardonnay 2018
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Lethbridge Allegra Chardonnay 2018

Named after daughter Allegra, this is Maree Collis and Ray Nadeson’s flagship Chardonnay. They source the fruit for the Allegra Chardonnay from the historic Rebenberg vineyard in Mount Duneed. Located 10 kilometres southwest of Geelong, the vineyard was initially planted in 1858 and replanted in 1968 by Ken and Joy Campbell. The Chardonnay vines are now almost 50 years old (planted in 1981, making them some of the oldest Chardonnay vines in Geelong). They are rooted in gravel and quartz soil and give extremely low yields of less than 12 hl/ha. These low yields and old vines go some way to explain how the Rebenberg vineyard always delivers “fruit of incredible density and acid”, according to Ray.

Fruit for the 2018 Allegra was picked by hand and pressed as whole bunches before barrel fermentation. The wine underwent full malolactic conversion and matured for 11 months in new oak, which Ray says allows “the oak tannins to frame the wine”. The wine then aged in bottle for a further three years before release. Lethbridge and Chardonnay are a match made in heaven, and here we have exhibit A.

“Lethbridge's flagship chardonnay, capable of stopping you in your tracks. With fineness, concentration of fruit and judicious winemaking, this is one of Geelong's best expressions of the grape. Citrus to the fore on the bouquet, with grapefruit, lemon, white nectarine and almond-meal notes. Fine lined throughout with a tantalising theme of bush herbs and lemon thyme. Bright, crystalline freshness to close.”
95 points, Jeni Port, Wine Companion
“Powerful style of Chardonnay from Geelong, most often. Stonefruit, preserved lemon, wheat germ, mint and garden herbs, cashew nuts. It’s intense in acidity, but rich in ripe lemon and peach flavour, kind of savoury and saline too, oatmeal and grapefruit, glossy yet flinty, with a finish of huge length and gently nutty oxidative character. Such personality, power, and presence. Wonderful.”
95 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
“A rich Chardonnay in the context of Australian tendencies to push the linear, reductive and taut. Yet there is no dearth of freshness. White peach, truffled lees and brulee segue to mineral crunch, a lick of classy oak and a long, penetrative finish. This mid-weighted, bottled aged iteration is for flavor hounds as much for those who like textural interplay and considerable complexity. Drink or hold. Screw cap.”
94 points, Ned Goodwin MW, jamessuckling.com
Lethbridge Allegra Chardonnay 2018
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Lethbridge Block 4 Pinot Noir 2018
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Lethbridge Block 4 Pinot Noir 2018

The Lethbridge Block 4 Pinot Noir is grown on a patch of vines on the black clay, basalt and limestone soils in the northwest corner of the lofty, cool Lethbridge vineyard in the Moorabool Valley. The block was planted in 1998 predominantly to MV6, with a smattering of 115 in the mix. Though the cool, wet start to the 2018 season gave rise to some concern early on, come November, things had dried out and warmed up, with the rest of the season playing out as “one of the most pleasurable” Ray has witnessed in decades. “The vines were perfectly set up to produce great fruit.”

Perfectly ripe fruit was picked by hand, fermented spontaneously in open-top vessels with 50% whole bunches, and matured in barrels (50% of which were new). Perhaps due to his scientific background, Nadeson, whose wines never taste oaky, is something of a specialist when it come to the use of oak. He works closely with a single French cooper, and all Lethbridge barrels are custom-built to his specifications: light toast and a tight grain to facilitate micro-oxygenation and help polymerise the tannins. This is super classy, bottle aged Pinot: It’s bold and richly textured, laden with deep red fruits, exotic spice and well-integrated savoury notes from the oak.

“All MV6 estate planted in 1996 with 50% whole bunches and 50% new French barriques. Nuanced with less primary and more secondary aromas including dark rose petal, wild strawberries, light clove scents and just a little sous bois. Lovely palate with superb fine, silky tannins giving this both texture and structure. Seductive now and over the next decade or so.”
96 points, Philip Rich, The Wine Companion
Lethbridge Block 4 Pinot Noir 2018
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Lethbridge Chardonnay 2022
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Lethbridge Chardonnay 2022

Lethbridge Chardonnay brings together fruit from the Lethbridge home vineyard and three other cool, rocky sites in the Geelong and Henty GIs. The Hat Rock vineyard is located on the Bellarine Peninsula, midway between Drysdale and Portarlington. Named after a hat-shaped rocky outcrop on the shore of Corio Bay, a short distance from the vineyard, it was planted in 1996 and sits on a gently undulating slope that faces north. The soils are volcanic clay/loam overlying limestone, and the cooling effects of the bayside location moderate temperatures in the warmer months. The Suma vineyard, on the other side of the Bellarine Peninsula overlooking Swan Bay, sits on shallow red clay soils over limestone. The salty sea air and chalky soils bring a distinctive savoury/mineral quality to the blend. The Henty portion comes from Jack and Lois Doeven’s well-established, cool site in Drumborg, home to schist soils and low-yielding vines. Closing the circle is the Lethbridge home vineyard, which was planted in 1996 and is the Moorabool Valley’s coolest site. It’s a low-yielding site that sits at 270 metres with thin black clay topsoil on bluestone and honeycomb basalt above limestone bedrock. Yields across the sites average out at a meagre 25 hl/ha.

The parcels are kept separate but are vinified the same way: whole bunch pressed, wild fermented in 100% new oak, full malolactic conversion and maturation in 30% new wood for 11 months. All barrels are custom-built by John-Louis Bousset to Lethbridge specifications, and the Chardonnay vessels, in particular, are very lightly toasted. This is top shelf Chardonnay by any measure: vivid, succulent and vibrant in flavour, with super impressive depth, texture and length. The balance is masterful.

“From a vineyard that's been leased since 2004 and that overlooks Queenscliff. Whole-bunched pressed to 100% new oak for fermentation then matured in a mix of new and older oak. 100% mlf. A very bright green gold. Ripe stone fruits, a little nougat and hazelnut. This is all about texture and flavour but equally it’s structured, too. And long. Good stuff.”
92 points, Philip Rich, The Wine Companion
Lethbridge Chardonnay 2022
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Lethbridge Chardonnay 2022 (375ml)
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Lethbridge Chardonnay 2022 (375ml)

Lethbridge Chardonnay brings together fruit from the Lethbridge home vineyard and three other cool, rocky sites in the Geelong and Henty GIs. The Hat Rock vineyard is located on the Bellarine Peninsula, midway between Drysdale and Portarlington. Named after a hat-shaped rocky outcrop on the shore of Corio Bay, a short distance from the vineyard, it was planted in 1996 and sits on a gently undulating slope that faces north. The soils are volcanic clay/loam overlying limestone, and the cooling effects of the bayside location moderate temperatures in the warmer months. The Suma vineyard, on the other side of the Bellarine Peninsula overlooking Swan Bay, sits on shallow red clay soils over limestone. The salty sea air and chalky soils bring a distinctive savoury/mineral quality to the blend. The Henty portion comes from Jack and Lois Doeven’s well-established, cool site in Drumborg, home to schist soils and low-yielding vines. Closing the circle is the Lethbridge home vineyard, which was planted in 1996 and is the Moorabool Valley’s coolest site. It’s a low-yielding site that sits at 270 metres with thin black clay topsoil on bluestone and honeycomb basalt above limestone bedrock. Yields across the sites average out at a meagre 25 hl/ha.

 

The parcels are kept separate but are vinified the same way: whole bunch pressed, wild fermented in 100% new oak, full malolactic conversion and maturation in 30% new wood for 11 months. All barrels are custom-built by John-Louis Bousset to Lethbridge specifications, and the Chardonnay vessels, in particular, are very lightly toasted. This is top shelf Chardonnay by any measure: vivid, succulent and vibrant in flavour, with super impressive depth, texture and length. The balance is masterful. 

Lethbridge Chardonnay 2022 (375ml)
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Lethbridge Hugo George Sangiovese Merlot 2018
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Lethbridge Hugo George Sangiovese Merlot 2018

The Hugo George, named after Maree Collis and Ray Nadeson’s son, is not made every year. In fact, in the last twenty years, this wine has been made on just five occasions. The Brunello vines on the Lethbridge property can be fickle and challenging to manage. The bunches are big, as are the berries, and the vines are vigorous. For Ray, low yields are key to the Lethbridge signature, so in a given year, he will drop up to 75% of the fruit. Merlot (31%) and Cabernet Franc (19%) make up the balance of the blend.

The batches fermented separately before being blended and matured for 15 months in new wood. The wine then rested in bottle for a further three years before release. Sweet and savoury with a lovely sour tang, it’s a plump, generous and wonderfully balanced wine. Ray sums the wine up nicely: “A picture-perfect marriage of flavour, texture, and richness.”

Lethbridge Hugo George Sangiovese Merlot 2018
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Lethbridge Indra Shiraz 2018
Lethbridge Indra Shiraz 2018
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Lethbridge Indra Shiraz 2018

Ray and Maree name their reserve wines after their four children: Indra, Allegra, Mietta and Hugo. The fruit for the Indra Shiraz comes from the low-yielding Block 3 on the Lethbridge home vineyard in the Moorabool Valley. The vines are rooted in distinctive black clay, basalt and limestone soils. Though the cool, wet start to the 2018 season gave rise to some concern early on, come November, things had dried out and warmed up. The rest of the season played out as “one of the most pleasurable” Ray has witnessed in decades.

The fruit was picked by hand and fermented spontaneously in open-top vessels with 80% whole bunches. After a long, cool ferment and extended time on skins, the wine matured in new wood for 15 months, followed by more than three years resting in bottle before release. Jeni Port’s note below captures the wine’s nature nicely, though we might have added a point or three to the score! It’s a fabulous wine.

“Highly concentrated and continuing to maintain its heroic full-bodied style, albeit with a high degree of savouriness this time round. A good swish will blow off some of the meaty/leather scents and allow the dark fruit, earth and bracken a clear run. Super-generous and just starting out, so consider further ageing.”
92 points, Jeni Port, Wine Companion
Lethbridge Indra Shiraz 2018
Lethbridge Indra Shiraz 2018
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Lethbridge Shiraz 2021
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Lethbridge Shiraz 2021

Inspired by Pat Carmody’s Craiglee Shiraz, and Ray Nadeson’s favourite Rhône growers, this wine is Lethbridge’s take on the more restrained and elegant style of Shiraz (or Syrah!). The 2021 is a single-vineyard wine sourced entirely from Block 6 in the Lethbridge home vineyard in the Moorabool Valley. The coolest site in the region at 270 metres, it was planted in 1996 and has thin black clay topsoil on bluestone and honeycomb basalt above limestone bedrock. Block 6 was planted in 1998 to the St Peters Clone, which traces its Australian roots back to the Seppelt St Peters Shiraz vineyard in Great Western, initially planted in 1863.

The fruit was picked by hand and fermented spontaneously in small open-top vessels with 50% whole bunches. After a long soak on skins (30+ days), the wine matured in 30% new French oak for 11 months. So generous, silky, savoury and bright. Deliciously mid-weight, expect a radiantly structured Shiraz flecked with stony/rocky/mineral nuance. Top-notch Victorian Shiraz from a great vintage and another pearler from the Lethbridge stable.

“Whole bunches (50%); matured for 12 months in French barriques (30% new). An excellent crimson ruby. This perfumed wine has aromas of dark berries, peonies, fennel seeds, white pepper and star anise, while the palate is medium bodied, concentrated and elegant. There would be no harm opening this now, with food, but all the components are here for this wine to age gracefully over the next six to eight years, if not longer.”
95 points, Philip Rich, The Wine Companion
Lethbridge Shiraz 2021
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Lethbridge Riesling 2023
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Lethbridge Riesling 2023

The 2023 Riesling was almost entirely sourced from a mature vineyard in Mount Gambier. Located just outside the township, it’s a low-yielding (three tonnes per acre), limestone-rich site planted in the early 1990s. Small-batch fermentations are spontaneous. A small portion (10%) went through malolactic conversion, and the wine was bottled with 10.8 g/L residual sugar.

Residual sugar in Riesling can be a difficult thing to get right. Ray Nadeson is an avid proponent of the practice, leaving a lick of sugar in all his Riesling wines: “It’s essential for the texture of the wine”. He’s a dab hand at it too. The 2023 leaps from the glass with lime leaf and white florals, paving the way for fleshy, fruity citrus weight shot through with long, racy lines and lip-smacking, moreish texture. Lovely balance and lengthy drive. Bravo!

Lethbridge Riesling 2023
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Lethbridge Que Syrah Syrah 2021
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Lethbridge Que Syrah Syrah 2021

Lethbridge has been working with fruit from the Malakoff Vineyard in the Pyrenees near Landsborough for more than 10 years. This celebrated site—owned and operated by Cameron and Robert John—has long been the source of top-quality Shiraz from some of Victoria’s most celebrated producers. The moderately sloped site was first planted in 1997 and lies at 300 metres with a well-sheltered northeast aspect. The soils are rich in red ferrous clay with large amounts of ironstone and quartz littered throughout. The lion's share of the 23-hectare site is planted to three Shiraz clones (PT23, BVRC30 and Best’s Old Block), with the balance comprising Nebbiolo and a small portion of Viognier.

The farming doctrine at Malakoff mirrors that of Lethbridge, with sustainability and soil health as top priorities. Ray and Maree work closely with the Johns each year and are intimately involved in the decisions for their chosen blocks (they work with the same blocks and take 100% of the fruit) to ensure yields are kept low and the fruit is picked at optimal ripeness. Ray tells us that though each Syrah block displays its own character and clonal identity, there is a common inky/spicy note throughout that is the site’s unique marker.

The fruit was picked by hand, destemmed and fermented spontaneously in a 3000-litre cuve for 20 days before being pressed off and matured for 10 months in 1200-litre foudres. From a superb season in the Pyrenees (and much of the rest of the state), in Nadeson’s eyes, 2021 has yielded a Syrah of “impressive concentration and beautiful acidity”. “It may sound silly, but it’s always the yummiest wine I make.” Attractive and generous from the first sniff, this has all the broody fruit weight, savoury/mineral lines and fragrant spice you could hope for from a Victorian Shiraz, all wrapped up in a deliciously plump yet amply structured frame. In a word, delicious. 

Lethbridge Que Syrah Syrah 2021
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Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2022 (375ml)
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Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2022 (375ml)

The Lethbridge Pinot Noir marries fruit from the home vineyard in the Moorabool Valley and Hat Rock vineyard on the Bellarine Peninsula, midway between Drysdale and Portarlington. Named after a hat-shaped rocky outcrop on the shore of Corio Bay a short distance from the vineyard, Hat Rock vineyard was planted in 1996 and sits on a gently undulating slope that faces north. The soils are volcanic clay/loam over limestone, and the cooling effects of the bayside location moderate temperatures in the warmer months. The Lethbridge home vineyard was planted in 1996 and is the Moorabool Valley’s coolest site. It sits at 270 metres with black clay topsoil on bluestone and honeycomb basalt above limestone bedrock. Though the Lethbridge site is planted to two clones of Pinot Noir (MV6 and Abel), only MV6 is included for the wine, while Hat Rock contributes 114, 115 and a touch more MV6.

The fruit was picked by hand and fermented spontaneously in open-top vessels with a high proportion of whole bunches (approximately 50%). The ferment was handled gently over 20 days, with once-a-day punch-downs evolving to just a wetting of the cap as the days progressed. The wine matured for 11 months in 40% new wood. Expressive and transparent, the 2022 is layered with bright fruits, mineral lines and captivating purity. It strikes a lovely balance between savoury character and engaging fruit presence. 

“From four separate vineyards in Geelong that all, interestingly, make single-vineyard wines as well! About 50% whole bunches and 50% new French barriques. Bright crimson. Immediately appealing with its aromas of freshly picked cherries and floral notes. Red-fruited and spicy on the palate, gentle tannins and Lethbridge's trademark bright acidity make this a wine to enjoy in the short- to medium-term.”
93 points, Philip Rich, The Wine Companion
Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2022 (375ml)
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Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2022
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Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2022

The Lethbridge Pinot Noir marries fruit from the home vineyard in the Moorabool Valley and Hat Rock vineyard on the Bellarine Peninsula, midway between Drysdale and Portarlington. Named after a hat-shaped rocky outcrop on the shore of Corio Bay a short distance from the vineyard, Hat Rock vineyard was planted in 1996 and sits on a gently undulating slope that faces north. The soils are volcanic clay/loam over limestone, and the cooling effects of the bayside location moderate temperatures in the warmer months. The Lethbridge home vineyard was planted in 1996 and is the Moorabool Valley’s coolest site. It sits at 270 metres with black clay topsoil on bluestone and honeycomb basalt above limestone bedrock. Though the Lethbridge site is planted to two clones of Pinot Noir (MV6 and Abel), only MV6 is included for the wine, while Hat Rock contributes 114, 115 and a touch more MV6.

The fruit was picked by hand and fermented spontaneously in open-top vessels with a high proportion of whole bunches (approximately 50%). The ferment was handled gently over 20 days, with once-a-day punch-downs evolving to just a wetting of the cap as the days progressed. The wine matured for 11 months in 40% new wood. Expressive and transparent, the 2022 is layered with bright fruits, mineral lines and captivating purity. It strikes a lovely balance between savoury character and engaging fruit presence.

“From four separate vineyards in Geelong that all, interestingly, make single-vineyard wines as well! About 50% whole bunches and 50% new French barriques. Bright crimson. Immediately appealing with its aromas of freshly picked cherries and floral notes. Red-fruited and spicy on the palate, gentle tannins and Lethbridge's trademark bright acidity make this a wine to enjoy in the short- to medium-term.”
93 points, Philip Rich, The Wine Companion
Lethbridge Pinot Noir 2022
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Lethbridge Pinot Gris 2023
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Lethbridge Pinot Gris 2023

This wine is the sum of three vineyard vineyards, two of which are in Henty and the other in Geelong. Ray Nadeson is a big fan of the Henty region, valuing the cool nature of the fruit from his high-elevation, windy sites. “As a region, it’s very underappreciated,” he tells us. Jack and Lois Doeven’s well-established cool site in Drumborg (Henty) is home to schist soils and very low-yielding vines, whereas the Vaughn vineyard sits on clay and limestone soils. The Hillside Haven vineyard is a small, three-hectare site planted in 1990 in Geelong. Sitting at 230 metres on the slopes of Mount Anakie, the soils are granitic and loamy, and plantings are a hectare each of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

In the quest for maximum flavour and texture, Ray picks his Pinot Gris fruit over a number of passes. Ferments take place in small batches in new wood, with some portions seeing up to 48 hours of skin contact. The wine then matures in foudre on fine lees for a few months before bottling. This is Pinot Gris as it should be: complex and detailed with a fleshy core, zippy and well-integrated acidity and plenty of savoury nuance at play. There’s a lot of wine in the glass!

“Planted on limestone in the mid-1990s. Fermented in stainless and wood with some components receiving up to eight hours' skin contact. Matured in foudre. Enticing with aromas of fully ripened yellow apples together with ginger and spice. Textured and slippery with just enough grip at the finish to give the wine tension and length.”
93 points, Philip Rich, The Wine Companion
Lethbridge Pinot Gris 2023
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Lethbridge Méthode Ancestrale 2022
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Lethbridge Méthode Ancestrale 2022

Lethbridge’s sparkling is a delightful blend of Pinot Noir (49%), Chardonnay (45%), Meunier (4%) and Pinot Gris (2%).  The Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are sourced from the cool-climate Barwite vineyard in Mansfield, while the Pinot Meunier comes from Jack and Lois Doeven’s well-established cool site in Drumborg (Henty). The wine is bottled during primary fermentation. Pouring brightly in the glass and this is pét-nat done right: whistle clean and bursting with fresh peach and juicy red berries, with a lovely zesty finish.

Lethbridge Méthode Ancestrale 2022
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Lethbridge Mietta Pinot Noir 2019
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Lethbridge Mietta Pinot Noir 2019

Mietta Pinot Noir, named after one of Maree Collis and Ray Nadeson’s daughters, is Lethbridge’s flagship Pinot Noir, sourced entirely from the property’s original Pinot Noir block. Otherwise known as the ‘Top Block’ and located on the eastern part of the property, these were the first vines to go into the ground when the replanting began in the mid-‘90s. “It’s a block planted by PhDs”, quips Ray, referencing the assistance from friends and colleagues when they were starting out. The low-yielding block is planted entirely to the MV6 clone on black clay, basalt and limestone soils.

2019 was a year that required Ray to hold his nerve when it came to picking. After a quick, hot start prompted many to get all their fruit off in a hurry, Ray waited before the weather settled and cooled, allowing the fruit to reset to a long, slow and even ripening pattern. The fruit was picked by hand and fermented spontaneously in open-top vessels with 80% whole bunches. The wine matured for 11 months in new wood and three years in bottle before release. The notes below speak for themselves.

“From a 'fast and furious' vintage comes a lively, spice-laden, brightly fruited pinot upbeat in red berries, wild raspberry, exotic spice and a sappy, undergrowth complexity. And that's just the bouquet. Svelte and even, fine in tannins with a most sustained finish with spice and anise in action.”
95 points, Jeni Port, Wine Companion
“Goes in for 80% whole bunch and 100% new oak, from a vineyard planted in 1996. Cherry and raspberry, a lot of spice and perfume, kind of blue with new oak (if you take my meaning) though the fruit is pretty much up to the task, along with earth and a sort of boot polish on leather thing happening. It’s rich and bold, a little creamy, with dark cherry, raspberry liqueur, spice, porcini mushroom savouriness, and sooty/grainy tannin, plus a finish of good length and intensity, with a subtle sappy bitterness to close. It’s a bold wine, no doubt, that speaks well of Geelong, and I reckon it will be better again with a few more years in bottle.”
94 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
“This is a richly flavored, mid-weighted pinot. A rewarding textural patina of maritime salinity, dutiful freshness and sinuous, nimble tannins flecked with whole-bunch (80%) traits of briar and clove, corralling black cherry, bergamot, rhubarb and a whiff of something salacious. Succulent. This is delicious, with nothing pushed. A mellifluous, long flowing whole. I'd like to see this in eight years. Screw cap.”
95 points, Ned Goodwin MW, jamessuckling.com
Lethbridge Mietta Pinot Noir 2019
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Lethbridge Ménage à Noir 2023
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Lethbridge Ménage à Noir 2023

Ray Nadeson describes the Ménage à Noir Pinot Noir as “Lethbridge-lite”; we prefer to think of it as the opening act to this producer’s impressive suite of Pinot Noirs. It’s a blend of sites, but the lion’s share (75%) comes from Jack and Lois Doeven’s cool site in Drumborg (Henty). This low-yielding vineyard with well-established vines was planted in the 1980s and rooted in schist soils. The balance of the fruit comes from Geelong. The destemmed fruit ferments in a combination of 5,00-litre open vats and 3,000-litre wooden fermenters; the fruit in the vats gets punched down, while the fruit in the wooden fermenters is pumped over daily. The wine then matures in a mixture of old and new (approximately 10%) French oak of various sizes (225/300/2,500 litres).

Bright, fresh and vibrant on the nose, it’s equally vivid on the palate. The signature Lethbridge energy and raciness are balanced nicely by perfectly ripe berry fruits, earthy spice and a crunchy, sappy and lasting close. A real winner, and fine value.

“Quite a deep colour, rich red with a good tint of purple; and rich ripe black cherry aroma and flavour with a eucalyptus overtone. The wine has intensity of fruit flavour and good structure, thanks to abundant tannins. Ample wood spice and loganberry flavours, a bold and ballsy pinot with a good intensity and persistence.”
91 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
Lethbridge Ménage à Noir 2023
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“People talk about playing a long-game in the wine industry, but few adhere to it like Maree Collis and Ray Nadeson of Lethbridge Wines.” Mike Bennie



“Now and then someone comes into the wine world who learns so fast and produces excellent wine so quickly it takes your breath away.” Huon Hooke



“As well as understanding the importance of terroir, the partners have built a unique strawbale winery, designed to recreate the controlled environment of cellars and caves in Europe. Winemaking is no less ecological: hand-picking, indigenous-yeast fermentation, small open fermenters, pigeage (foot-stomping) and minimal handling of the wines throughout the maturation process are all part and parcel of the highly successful Lethbridge approach.” James Halliday

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    Today we offer the new Terroirs and 7 Crus bottlings from one of Champagne’s greatest g...
    Today we offer the new Terroirs and 7 Crus bottlings from one of Champagne’s greatest growers. In short, Agrapart’s new disgorgements are emblemati...

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  • Josetta Saffirio
    Josetta Saffirio
    La famiglia Saffirio boasts two centuries of oenological tradition in Monforte d’Alba. ...
    La famiglia Saffirio boasts two centuries of oenological tradition in Monforte d’Alba. Yet the wines remain an insider’s find. Those lucky enough t...

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  • Moreau-Naudet
    Moreau-Naudet
    It’s been wonderful to see what Virginie Moreau has achieved with this estate since the...
    It’s been wonderful to see what Virginie Moreau has achieved with this estate since the sudden passing of her husband, Stéphane, in 2016. At that t...

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  • Zalto
    Zalto
    With Zalto’s small team of glassblowing artisans now back at full production, we’re del...
    With Zalto’s small team of glassblowing artisans now back at full production, we’re delighted to see a return to healthy and steady supplies of thi...

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  • Stéphane Aladame
    Stéphane Aladame
    As Burgundy lovers broaden their horizons, the top growers of the Côte Chalonnaise are ...
    As Burgundy lovers broaden their horizons, the top growers of the Côte Chalonnaise are finally getting the recognition their wines deserve. It’s no...

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  • Place of Changing Winds
    Place of Changing Winds
    Today, we are delighted to present our offer of the limited Place of Changing Winds Est...
    Today, we are delighted to present our offer of the limited Place of Changing Winds Estate and Tradition wines from the exceptional 2022 harvest. A...

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  • Domaine Jaeger Defaix
    Domaine Jaeger Defaix
    How nice it was to see the smiles return to the faces of Didier and Hélène Defaix. And ...
    How nice it was to see the smiles return to the faces of Didier and Hélène Defaix. And what charming smiles they are! If Burgundy’s growers were pr...

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  • Garagiste
    Garagiste
    2023 is the gift that keeps on giving. Across the board, our Victorian growers have tur...
    2023 is the gift that keeps on giving. Across the board, our Victorian growers have turned out some of their most exciting wines to date, and Barne...

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