This week we celebrate a real milestone in our importing project with the arrival of our very first wines from outside Europe, albeit with a very London connection!
Lele is the project of Liam Kelleher, a longtime friend and peer in the London natural wine scene, and one of the original founders of legendary natural wine shops and bars Noble Fine Liquor, P. Franco and Bright. Originally from New Zealand, Liam returned home in 2019 to follow his lifelong dream of making wine in the thoughtful and authentic way he has championed throughout his career, and with his young family in tow, began his winemaking adventure near his hometown of Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island.
Liam works with the varieties typical of South Canterbury - Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling - and as you would expect from a natural wine pioneer, viticulture is organic and winemaking low intervention, with zero added sulphur. We are delighted to have four wonderful cuvées from Liam in our initial offering.
Lele Orange Riesling (£22): Organic Riesling from Giesen, South Canterbury, macerated in whole bunches for two weeks before being pressed off to ferment in stainless steel where it remained undisturbed for twelve months.
A lifted, fragrant orange wine with floral aromas of chamomile and orange blossom with a vibrant thread of acidity. No added sulphur.
Lele Riesling (£27): Organic Riesling from the 2020 vintage, fermented dry over 17 days in stainless steel before ageing for 12 months in a single 500 litre puncheon barrel and back to stainless steel for a further 6 months.
A scintillating kiwi Riesling; taut and linear with crystalline lime and lemon aromas, steely minerality and a tremendously long finish.
Lele Takamatua Pinot Gris / Pinot Noir (£27): A sumptuous red/white field blend of 60% Pinot Gris and 40% Pinot Noir from a single plot in Banks Peninsula. Picked together and fermented in whole bunches for 3 weeks before pressing off to age in stainless steel and bottling without sulphur.
Juicy, mouth-watering aromas of guava, pomegranate and raspberries with a lick of chalky minerality and crunchy cranberry acidity.
Lele Waipara Pinot Noir (£27): Organic Pinot Noir from a single, limestone rich plot in Waipara. 100% whole bunch fermented for two weeks, then half de-stemmed by hand. It was then pressed off to age for 18 months, 12 in puncheon barrel and 6 in stainless steel.
An elegant and beautifully balanced New Zealand Pinot Noir with vivid, perfumed aromas of red berries, bergamot and exotic spices. Delicate and fresh on the palate with a silky mouthfeel.