Winemaker, Mike Brown was emptying some freshly fermented white wine out of new French oak barrels. Left behind in the barrels were the remnants of yeast called “lees”. Normally the lees are emptied out before the next wine is put in.
Whilst rolling the first barrels to empty them, Mike tasted the lees in a tub and found they had extraordinary flavour. They were fluffy, crunchy, and looked very ""alive"" and healthy. He decided to transfer a fascinating unoaked Shiraz into the French oak barrels on top of the white lees. Over the next 28 months the experiment began to take shape, and what has evolved is an incredibly unique wine!!
The white lees have acted as a preserving agent, protecting this wine from normal aging characteristics, hence with the extraordinary quality of the 2011 vintage combined with the lees natural preserving abilities we have a wine that is truly remarkable.
Appearance: Black with red/purple hue.
Nose: Blueberry, liquorice, violets, olive pith, mulberry, cinnamon, cheery ripe, marshmallow; and from the lees – orange blossom and tangerine.
Palate: Flavours of salty plum, cherry and red currants all traverse the palate with hints of dark chocolate, mocca, and mint also being evident, it’s a mouth filling wine as Shiraz should be. The 2011 White Lees Shiraz has definitive concentration yet shows restraint. Texture is built in here from the lees and the tannin and acid profile provides a tight framework to ensure this wine finished in true Gemtree style.
Food: Slow cooked pork belly with Asian greens and rice noodles.