2022 Leko Blanc Adelaide Hills

The entry level white for Jono and Damon Koerner’s Leko range, this is a bellwether for the thoughtfully subtle detail felt throughout the wines, with gentle spice across orchard fruits, and a pithy grip providing moreish tension.

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The Leko range is the brothers Koerner’s foray out of the Clare Valley and into the Adelaide Hills, where Damon now lives with his young family. It is also the location of their new winery. This is a savagnin-led blend with some more familiar Hills varieties, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc.

Tasting note

This has seen a week on skins, which gives it it’s tawny amber hue and lifted spice notes, with touches of cinnamon, carraway and white pepper, along with a candied orange peel and mustard fruit note. Beneath that, apples and pears jostle with a gentle herbal line. Jalapeño and lime characters chime in on the palate. The result is a wine neatly balanced between the savoury and the juicy, with a pithy grip of skinsy tannin and bright acid complementing the slippery flex of texture.

Themes of this wine


Best known for the wines of the Jura in France’s north-east, savagnin was introduced to Australia as somewhat of a stowaway. The first vines were planted at a time when vine cuttings were mislabelled, with plantings of what was thought to be albariño correctly identified as savagnin in 2009. While at the time this was of real consternation to growers, a subsequent interest in the wines of the Jura has seen that accident a somewhat happy one.

Pinot gris/grigio

Whether you call it pinot gris or pinot grigio, the variety has become an international star, pushing even sauvignon blanc out of the spotlight for those wanting a crisp, quaffable white without all the overt fruitiness. But the grape is much more versatile than that, making wines that can be dry and mineral or richly sweet and spicy, as well as skin-contact examples that are grippy and fragrant with red fruits and spices.

Sauvignon Blanc

When you think of sauvignon blanc, it’s hard not to think of New Zealand almost immediately, and the pungently expressive examples from Marlborough. But sauvignon also contributes to some of France’s most noble wines, as well as a huge diversity of expressions in Australia, both bottles solo and in blends. One of the most aromatic of grapes, sauvignon blanc is not shy for flavour and typically is quite high in acid. On the leaner end, those flavours will be very grassy and herbal and advance through passionfruit to some quite opulent tropical characters as the fruit gets riper.

Adelaide Hills

There is arguably no more creatively fertile wine region in Australia right now than the Adelaide Hills. The push to plant vines in the Hills was led by some of Australia’s most established and famous names – Croser, Henschke, Shaw and Smith, Knappstein, Weaver – and while they are all still very much major players, the Hills has also been a hotbed for the avant-garde – Lucy Margaux, Ochota Barrels, Unico Zelo, Commune of Buttons, BK Wines etc. – and the cradle of the natural wine movement in this country. It’s fair to say that the Adelaide Hills are cool climate, but beyond that, it defies boxing in. The altitude varies considerably, and the nature of the terrain means that there are so many vineyard aspects and localised climatic conditions that what may thrive on one site may be totally unviable on another. Key varieties are chardonnay, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and nebbiolo.

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