Mornington Peninsula Winemakers On Tour

What a lovely summer we have had here in old Blighty, and wakening up on a fine September morn, Guest Wines had even more sun to look forward to, as we were heading over the The Strand to step inside the country of sunshine! Well, Australia House is as far as we got, but you get the picture…

Bright, light and oh so cool… the land of Australia. Layered, textured, with a real sense of place, the Aussie landscape certainly has that, but so do its wines. Today, it was all about a small sub-region of Victoria, a place that it really making waves.

We came away, truly blown away, not just by the skill and precision of the winemaking, but of the sense of place that these wines have. Nervy, tense, and with a symphony of layers, each telling its own tale, and bringing forth, mouthful after mouthful of joyous pleasure, so fresh and so cool, they may have been hip but they also so grown up (a good thing at our age!). These wines had intellect and wisdom. New World?!? Pah! These wines are definitely what we would describe as the ‘New’ New World! These wines understand the land, and throw it right back at you in the glass. An absolute pleasure.

Supported by Wine Australia, the day kicked off with two masterclasses – the first all about Chardonnay, and then the second focusing on Pinot Noir, each hosted by the head winemakers from the participating wineries. These being:

Crittenden Estate – Rollo Crittenden

Kooyong Wines/Port Philip Estate – Glen Hayley

Moorooduc Estate – Kate McIntyre MW

Ocean Eight – Mike Aylward

Paringa Estate – Lindsay McCall

Polperro – Sam Coverdale

Stonier Wines – Will Byron

Ten Minutes By Tractor – Martin Spedding

Yabby Lake Vineyard – Tom Carson

Chardonnay – using a mix of 225/500L barrels

Ten Minutes by Tractor, Wallis Chardonnay 2016 – Red volcanic clay, from the estates most southerly vineyard 198-201m above sea level, partial malo. Lifted and pronounced nose with yellow apple, green fig and cinnamon spice, such purity running throughout this wine, concluding with a lime blossom finish

Stonier KBS Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 – Basalt loam transitioning to sandy loam over basalt clay, on east facing slopes, partial malo. A delicate citrus nose, with a hint of herb and camomile. Plenty of tension on the palate, maintaining a chiselled body

Kooyong, Single Vineyard Farrago Chardonnay 2015 – Sandy loam, no malo, no battonage. A pronounced nose of melon and mango fruits, with a hint of herb and green fig, spicy, with pleasing lemon citrus acidity

Polperro, ‘Mill Hill’ Chardonnay 2015 – Red volcanic clay over a bedrock of granite, on vines that were first planted in 1992, at 270 meters above sea level, and from fruit picked in late April, then spending 12 months on lees. Lemon toffee pudding with lifted pineapple notes, and just a touch of spice

Paringa Estate, The Paringa Chardonnay 2015 – Red volcanic clay. Lemon citrus burst with hints of flint and plenty of minerality

Crittenden Estate, The Zumma Chardonnay 2014 – Sandy loam over grey clay, organic principles administered in the vineyard. Ripe red apple fruit, green fig, tarragon, with a dusting of cinnamon spice, embracing a body that is becoming rich and full with age, but kept in check with a mouthwateringly clean finish

Ocean Eight, Verve Chardonnay 2012 – Sandy loam, whole bunch pressed into old barrels. Delicate nose with a hint of citrus blossom, but with plenty of flavour coming through on the palate of sappy grapefruit and lemon

Yabby Lake, Block 1 Chardonnay 2012 – Light sandy clay loam/sandy loam deep soils, single clone vineyard. Fragrant, aromatic and inviting. Rich, ripe fruit embraced by pithy lemon, and plenty of tension

Moorooduc Estate, The McIntyre Chardonnay 2012 – Sandy duplex soil from an ancient seabed. Vineyard planted in 1983, dry farmed, hand harvested, and whole bunch pressed, 100% wild yeast fermentation in French oak barrels, 25% being new. Natural malolactic fermentation (100%) in barrel, and with 10 Months in wood on lees, with 1 racking prior to bottling. Perfumed and luxurious. Candied peel, confected, lifted by yellow meadow flowers, vanilla spice, and rounded by way of rich mango and melon fruits

Pinot Noir

Ten Minutes by Tractor, McCutcheon Pinot Noir 2016 – Red volcanic clay, from 25 year old vines. Crunchy red current fruit, with rosehip sharpness and a touch of Chinese 5 spice. Lifted floral notes descend upon the palate, with just a hint of autumn leaf

Stonier, Merron’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 – Red basalt over basalt clay. Tinned strawberries meet zippy freshness, a nip of spice and a dusting of tannins towards the finish

Kooyong, Single Vineyard Ferrous Pinot Noir 2016 – Sandy loam, low yields from two blocks. Fermented in concrete eggs with around 20% aged in new oak. Earthy, sour red fruits, hints of peonies, very focused and a long long finish

Polperro, ‘Mill Hill’ Pinot Noir 2016 – Red volcanic clay over a bedrock of granite. Smokey, with Chinese 5 spice, taught rosehip with medicinal notes shining through on the palate, and an underlying waft of floral perfume – precision

Paringa Estate, The Paringa Pinot Noir 2016 – Red volcanic clay. Soft ripe red berries with rooty spice, clean, fresh and pure

Crittenden Estate, Cri de Cour Pinot Noir 2016 – Sandy loam over clay. 50% whole bunch, fermented in 500L barrels. Savoury red current with rooty, earthy notes, a burst of pomegranate. This wine has character

Ocean Eight, Pinot Noir 2016 – Sandy loam. De-stemmed and pressed into 1 year old 500L barrels. Cherry Spangles with an undertone of peonies and Chinese 5 spice. Light with purity

Yabby Lake, Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 – Sandy clay loam with iron shot stone, and light medium clay. A blend of plots and clones, cultivated yeast. Very fragrant with spicy nuances that keep on coming at ya! Lovely dryness on the finish

Moorooduc Estate, Robinson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 – Sandy duplex soil from an ancient seabed. Wild ferment, 30% wholebunch/70% whole berry. Twice daily battonage with 19-21 days on the skins. Boom! Boom! Boom! Textural and mouth filling whilst kept in check by sappy rosehip sharpness, lots of spicy cherry fruit, and just a touch of herb. Captivating

Now, that had got things off to a very fine start indeed, so now it was time to hit the dance floor!

Here’s a selection of beauties that really grabbed our attention:

We immediately had our socks blown off with these two!

Crittenden Estate, Cri de Coeur Savagnin 2015 – Crisp red apple, vanilla and buttered toast, lemon zest, with lifted finely cut acidity and textured oxidised notes

Crittenden Estate, Cri de Coeur Savagnin 2013 – Bruised ripe apple meets textured buttery layers, curvy, tangy, mouth freshingly pleasing, rich, opulent… we could go on…

And then:

Kooyong, Beurrot Pinot Gris 2017 – Light and tight, with ripe pear overtones and a dash of spice

Ocean Eight, Pinot Gris 2017 – A wine that will surely grow up to be a finer more refined one in a few years time, with it’s fresh acidity and appealing curvy body and hints of stone fruits

Polperro, Even Keel Pinot Gris 2017 – Ripe tropical fruits with a honeyed undertone, and organge zest

Paringa Estate, Peninsula Chardonnay 2017 – Lime zest and cooling herbs dazzle across the palate, bringing with it much enjoyment

Stonier Wines, Reserve Chardonnay 2016 – Fragrant and lifted with fennel, lime and fig, with an exciting backbone of pure fresh acidity

Moorooduc Estate – As well as having brought a range of their finished wines, this estate also brought with them samples of single vineyards that have been bottled prior to deciding on a final blend being commissioned. What was interesting, was that the notion of ‘terroir’ could easily be identified in each of these Pinot Noir bottlings. These were:

Paradigm Vineyard 2016 13.5% – Light on the nose, with a rooty, medicinal character, with underlying red fruits

Paringa Vineyard 2016 14.5% – Perfumed, with a generous earthy body

Eldridge Vineyard 2016 14.5% – Light red fruit nose that followed onto the palate, confected, and fresh

Robinson Vineyard 2016 13.5% – Ripe, earthy fruits, peonies, and strawberry jelly babies – lovely

McIntyre Vineyard 2016 13.5% – Spicy, cherry Spangles, with a nice freshness running through

And for the official bottlings, we rather liked:

Moorooduc Estate, The McIntyre Shiraz 2015 – Earthy, rooty, blackcurrant fruit with lifted freshness and a fruit pastille finish

And also:

Ten Minutes by Tractor, Coolant Road Pinot Noir 2016 – With a touch of CO2 that carries the acidity and brings with it a pleasant freshness to the wine, encouraging the red fruits to the fore – poised

Yabby Lake, Single vineyard Syrah 2016 – Co-fermented with 3% Viognier, and with a small amount of new oak. Bright blackcurrant, a hint of mint, peppery spice and snuff

And what a way to end such a splendid day!

Stop Press! Guest Wines are proud to announce that we are the winners of a trip to Mornington Peninsula, courtesy of Wine Australia, to attend The Mornington Peninsula Pinot Celebration next February! We already have our suitcases packed! Wooohooo! We just can’t wait to taste more of these fab fines!