Medhurst Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 2018 Release

The arrival of Simon Steele from Brokenwood (his loss much mourned by Brokenwood) has enhanced the already considerable reputation of Medhurst. JAMES HALLIDAY

It is unsurprising that Medhurst Wines was going to be successful, the owners Ross and Robyn Wilson are intrinsically linked to both the wine world and the Yarra Valley.  Robyn grew up there and Ross was, for an important time, CEO of Southcorp. Meaning they had the know how, love and inside knowledge to find a great site to build their vision upon The first vineyards were planted in 2000 and they initially engaged the highly skilled Dominque Portet to make the wines for them.  Whilst they were very good wines that set the tone for the fledging estate, it has certainly found its groove under winemaker Simon Steele. 

Simon made the move to the Yarra Valley in early 2015 after a very successful stint at Brokenwood wines.  His influence has taken what was already a great value winery and focussed it into one that produces wines, from top to bottom, of outstanding fruit profile, clarity and effortless class. The consistently good 'entry level' wines are usually on high rotation here at The Prince, but for my money both the Estate Chardonnay & Estate Pinot Noir push so much more understated depth and persistence, it's well worth the tiny jump in price.

Simon presented the newly released 2018 vintage of these two wines to us last week. He describes the heavy rains in December as a defining moment of the vintage.  Causing more work in the vineyard removing unnecessary shoots, leaves and bunches.  But providing enough water that by the time the grapes were ready to pick the fruit was plump and juicy.  The Chardonnay has a textural richness over the highly regarded 2017 vintage which I think works in it's favour.  Similarly the Pinot Noir is supple and textured with beautiful clarity of fruit. Both are ready to jump straight into a glass and be enjoyed. Having said that the balance sets them up to age wonderfully in the midterm too. Maybe longer, but I suspect many won't remain unopened long enough to prove this hypothesis.

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