Bilanica Back in Oz Offer

I have a sense that the next decade or so will be something of a golden age for it [Hawkes Bay Syrah]. Bruce Schoenfeld THE WORLD OF FINE WINE, ISSUE 57 

Since acquiring their initial 6-hectare parcel of vines in Roys Hill in Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay in 1997, Bilancia (so-called as both proprietors Lorraine Leheny and Warren Gibson are both Librans), have quietly established themselves as one of the region’s premium producers, with some exceptional Syrah and Pinot Gris. NEAL MARTIN, Wine Advocate

It is preposterous that New Zealand’s finest red may not be a pinot; inconceivable that it could eclipse every Euro, Aussie and everywhere-else red so far this year. Such are the contradictions of La Collina. Hawke’s Bay syrah with pepper, graphite, coal, flint, iron filings and the textural structure of dreams. TYSON STELZER

The word Bilancia (be-larn-cha) in Italian means balance, equilibrium and harmony. This is something that owners Warren Gibson and Lorraine Leheny have put at the heart of their Hawkes Bay winery. The name came to Warren whilst reading his Horoscope in an Italian newspaper while working in Southern Italy on one of his many vintages there. The word Bilanciais is also the Italian name for Libra which is the sign that both Gibson and Leheny are born under.

This small Hawkes Bay producer has garnered an almost cult like following for their Syrah, especially their prized La Collina. That attention is well and truly justified as they craft some of the finest examples of the variety in the southern hemisphere (I know a lot of Australian’s will be furious at that statement but I have been banging on about Hawkes Bay Syrah for a long time). While their Syrahs are unquestionably fantastic I think their other wines are sometimes overlooked because of this. Certainly the wine trade know and love them and there is always high demand for their Chardonnay and a loyal restaurant following for their gorgeous Gris. A lot of consumers though may miss these in the frenzy to get some La Collina each year.

The viticultural axis is focused around La Collina (Italian for ‘the hill’) vineyard site and is 6 hectares of land on Roys Hill just west of Hastings. The north/northwest facing slopes and upper most slopes and terraces are planted to Syrah whilst the lower gently rising land and gravel flats are planted to Chardonnay.

Both Warren and Lorraine studied winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia and before settling in Hawkes Bay in 1997, Warren made wine in Australia, Hungary, Italy, California and France while Lorraine worked in Australia, Portugal and California. Returning to New Zealand, the two established Bilancia in 1997 with their first release, shortly after, in mid-1998.

We have recently received our allocation of their new releases, the 2017 Chardonnay, 2018 Syrah and 2019 Gris. Usually they come with plenty of press and reviews, as is the case for the Syrah and Chardonnay, but the Gris doesn’t seem to have been written up anywhere yet so you will, hopefully, trust me when I say it is absolutely spot on.

All Results

9 Item(s)

All Results

9 Item(s)