I've been collecting wine tasting notes as part of an exploration of evaluative language, and have learned some new words as a result, among them leesy.
Here are some examples from the Beverage Tasting Institute:
Exotic, leesy yeast, cream, and golden apple nose.
Heady, leesy, creamy, honeyed nose.
Lush, leesy brown spice aromas show an integrated oak accent.
Perfumed, leesy talc and sweet citrus nose.
Broad, waxy, leesy aromas show a subtle honeyed quality.
Or these from Wine Enthusiast magazine:
Yellowing and leesy in character, with a deep, brooding style.
There's a strong leesy, cheesy note on top of apple and peach fruit, …
It has a wonderful leesy texture that enlivens the palate, …
Starts off a bit nutty and leesy, with those aromas balanced by white peaches.
The OED tells us that lee is "The sediment deposited in the containing vessel from wine and some other liquids", noting that the word is "Obs. exc. in pl."
But the derived form leesy is not in the OED as yet, nor in MW, nor in other dictionaries I've tried. Wordnik finds no definitions but gives plenty of winetalk examples from here and there. The glossary of cooking terms at recipetips.com explains leesy as
Descriptor of a wine that possesses a rich aroma and/or flavor that is a direct result of the wine resting on the lees. Lees are the solids, a result of fermentation, that are found on the bottom of a vat. These solid particles are comprised of grape skins, pulp, and yeast.
This seems to be a relatively recent addition to the vocabulary of winetalk — thus it's not in Michael Broadbent, Wine tasting: a practical handbook on tasting & tastings, 1976; nor in John Gottfried and Patricia Gottfried, A wine tasting course: the practical way to know and enjoy wine, 1978. On the other hand, it's also not in Ronald Jackson, Wine Tasting: A Professional Handbook, 2009, which nevertheless does explain that
Slow, continuous effervescence is favored by prolonged contact between yeast lees and the wine. After several months, yeasts autolysis (self-digestion) releases cell-wall constituents (colloidal mannoproteins) into the wine. The weak bonds formed between carbon dioxide and these proteins are thought essential to the production of a steady stream of bubbles following opening.
A glossary from Wine Magazine, published 2004, gives
Leesy – creamy richness imparted to wine from sitting on the lees (dead yeast cell deposits after fermentation), most obvious in white wines and bubblies.
Two things stood out he said: complexity of the nose with far more toasty biscuit, lime and leesy autolytic character coming to the fore and the long drawn out, lingering limey acidity "which you don't get with MCC".
Lots of vigorous bead. Leesy, cheesy nose – hint of sourdough bread.
Leesy apple nose with some lemon notes.
And a Beverage Tasting Institute review from 4/1/2002 reads:
Deep yellow-straw hue. Generous, leesy, smoky nose. A sharp entry leads to a racy, medium-bodied palate with good cut. Taut, clean, and angular. Drink now.
Those are the earliest example that I've found, in a few minutes of searching.
So apparently leesy was not in general winetalk use as of 1978, but had become a normal descriptive term by 2002 or so. Can someone document its history over the intervening 24 years?