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Mornington

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Mornington

Located in the Port Phillip Zone an hour's drive north of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula has a short, yet remarkable history of fine wine production. While there were a smattering of vineyards in the nineteenth century, modern viticulture on the Peninsula began when Ballieu Myer established a vineyard in 1972. This began an explosion of vineyards over the next thirty years with Main Ridge (1975) Stonier Wines (1978) Dromana Estate (1982) Moorooduc Estate (1983) Paringa Estate (1985) Port Phillip Estate (1987) Kooyong Estate (1996) Yabby Lake (1998), Ten Minutes by Tractor (1999) amongst those to become established during this time. Mornington Peninsula’s proximity to Melbourne and its underlying historical status as a holiday destination has strongly influenced the region's structure, influencing land prices resulting in a patchwork of small vineyards and producers spread across the area triangulated between popular weekend destination of Somerville, Flinders on Bass Straight and Rosebud on Port Phillip Bay. The result is a number of particularly accessible cellar door facilities and restaurants catering to tourists over weekends.

A maritime climate, the influence of Mornington’s proximity to the ocean, Bass Straight, and Port Philip Bay is the single most significant climatic factor affecting vineyards, followed by the diverse typography of terrain. Overall the climate is cool, the pervasive winds limiting issues with humidity and frost. The typography soil profile is diverse, impacting on viticulture, with the significantly cooler, elevated area surrounding Red Hill and Arthurs Seat (Main Ridge, Port Philip Estate) on fertile red volcanic soils, differing from the warmer low-lying areas of Moorooduc and Tuerong (Yabby Lake) which have well-draining sandy soils.

Mornington Peninsula is renowned for the production of high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which are the most planted varieties, alongside ShirazPinot Gris and very small quantities of Sauvignon Blanc. Mornington Pinot Noir is diverse, with many single vineyard bottlings ranging from light delicate expressions to more powerful styles with wines displaying flavours of bright cherry, strawberry and nuances of earth to powerful expressions with darker fruits and firmer tannins. Outstanding producers include Kooyong, Hurley Vineyards, Port Philip Estate, Ten Minutes by TractorMoorooduc Estate and Yabby Lake. Quality conscious producers follow the same model with Chardonnay bottling premium wines from site specific vineyards. On the whole these display delicate aromas of melon, citrus, with warmer sites display fig notes. Depending on winemaking styles they also may show notes of nutty characters of cashew and toasty oak or butter. Outstanding producers include Main Ridge, Kooyong, Yabby Lake, Moorooduc and Ten Minutes by Tractor.

While only planted in small quantities Shiraz from the Mornington Peninsula displays the classic cool climate characters including spice, black and white pepper, smoked meats and liquorice. Outstanding producers are limited, though the variety is starting to gain ground with both Paringa Estate and Foxy’s Hangout winning awards at major Australian wine shows in the last three years. 

Pinot Gris is produced in small quantities and occasionally labelled as Pinot Grigio to indicate a dryer Italian style expression of the variety with T'Gallant and Quealy having had success with this variety.

Sources:
James Halliday’s Wine Atlas of Australian, James Halliday
Victorian Department of Primary Industries
Wine Australia


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  1. Red Claw by Yabby Lake Pinot Gris 2018 375ml
    Red Claw by Yabby Lake Pinot Gris 2018 375ml

    Handpicked fruit was whole bunch pressed into tank. After cold settling overnight, juice was racked to another tank for fermentation. Parcels left on yeast lees until July 2016 to gain mouth feel and complexity, then bottled. This Red Claw Pinot Gris has lovely freshness, lifted floral aromas and bright fruit flavours. Showing a hint of nashi pear, subtle spice and a long, finely textured palate. YABBY LAKE

    Very light yellow, bright colour, with a sweetly fragrant, light and grapy aroma, some nectarine, stone fruit notes. The wine is light-bodied and dry, delicate and straightforward, with a cleansing, appetising dryness to finish. It's very much a grigio style. The Real Review

    2015
    Pinot Gris
    Australia
    441
  2. Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir 2020 375ml
    Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir 2020 375ml
    A blend of the Mcintyre, Robinson and Garden vineyards that receives all the care attention of the single vineyard bottlings. A bit of dark cherry and heady spice with a touch of pretty florals that linger gently. A bit of French oak and some whole bunch add some slippery texture and a whole of class. A peppery, savoury touch on the palate with some pretty oak framing the plush fruit. Fantastic stuff.
    We have always had great relationship with the Mcintyre family and Kate in particular who we have collaborated with on numerous projects. They are pioneers and standard bearers for the Mornington Peninsula. The wines from top to bottom are all sensational and we are proud to call them our friends. PWS

    Our philosophy in everything we do is to make the most of top quality ingredients. Intensive, hands-on care in the vineyard, with minimal use of chemicals, produces the best possible fruit for our wines. Wild yeast ferments and minimal intervention winemaking, with a nod to traditional Burgundian techniques, allow our wines to express their site specificity, or terroir. MOOROODUC
    2020
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  3. Moorooduc Estate Devil Bend Creek Pinot Noir 2019
    Moorooduc Estate Devil Bend Creek Pinot Noir 2019

    We have always had great relationship with the Mcintyre family and Kate in particular who we have collaborated with on numerous projects. They are pioneers and standard bearers for the Mornington Peninsula. The wines from top to bottom are all sensational and we are proud to call them our friends. PWS

    Our philsophy in everything we do is to make the most of top quality ingredients. Intensive, hands-on care in the vineyard, with minimal use of chemicals, produces the best possible fruit for our wines. Wild yeast ferments and minimal intervention winemaking, with a nod to traditional Burgundian techniques, allow our wines to express their site specificity, or terroir. MOOROODUC

    A touch of tomato leaf with raspberry and a slight black fruited edge to this slightly more plump and plush version of the Devil Bend Creek. Light, gentle tannins slide their way through the middle. Slippery and gorgeous with plenty of fruit but a lovely buoyancy as well. PWS

    2019
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  4. Kooyong Pinot Noir 2019 375ml
    Kooyong Pinot Noir 2019 375ml

    Kooyong, owned by Giorgio and Dianne Gjergja, released its first wines in 2001. The vineyard is planted to pinot noir (20ha), chardonnay (10.4ha) and, more recently, pinot gris (3ha). In July '15, following the departure of Sandro Mosele, his assistant of six years, Glen Hayley, was appointed to take his place. The Kooyong wines are made at the state-of-the-art winery of Port Phillip Estate, also owned by the Gjergjas. JAMES HALLIDAY

    The estate Pinot Noir from one of the Mornington Peninsula’s flag bearers.

    It’s a wine defined by its shape. It angles towards the finish and then pushes on out; the pulleys are in place from the beginning. Twiggy spice, a general woody/savouriness, dark cherry and a light coating of cedar. I wouldn’t call it taut but I would call it firm and indeed strict. It’s as though the wine’s flavour run on converging rails. It’ll be a better drink in a year or more. CAMPBELL MATTINSON

    2019
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  5. Even Keel Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2019
    Even Keel Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2019
    Wine grower Sam Coverdale believes in living life and creating wines with character and balance. He believes that great wines are grown not made, and is passionate about creating elegant wines that continue to interest beyond the first glass and truly reflect their region and vintage

    Sam's second label, Even Keel, celebrates the strengths of Australia's leading wine regions with a small production of genuine, refined wines grown in regions best suited to specific varieties.
    2019
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  6. Onannon Mornington Pinot Noir 2019
    Onannon Mornington Pinot Noir 2019
    Onannon has been sourcing premium Mornington and Gippsland fruit under the direction of the terrible trio of Will Byron, Sam Middleton and Kasper Hermann. The trio met whilst working at Coldstream Hills many years ago. Will is now the chief winemaker at Stonier in Mornington Peninsula, Sam has taken over winemaking duties at his iconic family estate, Mount Mary in the Yarra Valley where he and Kaspar have worked for years.

    This wine is a blend of three vineyards. Our original Red Hill site, a younger site in Flinders and a site in Sommers. The fruit from all sites is handpicked with a little of the Red Hill portion going in as whole bunch. There is a light touch of oak aging, wild ferments and minimal sulphur.

    This is up-front and delicious made in an open and generous style. The pedigree of the winemaking shines through this is class all the way. The warm, ripe fruits are perfectly pitched with a touch of whole bunch spice and whisps of wild, leafy undergrowth that counter the warm fruit nicely. Its laid-back as you taste but gently unfurls some subtle and complex savoury notes. This is understated in the nicest way but has everything you want in a Mornington pinot. No brainer.
    2019
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  7. Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir 2018
    Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir 2018
    A sappy, round and richly flavoured pinot exuding mottled red berry and blue fruit scents along a twine of gentle acidity and herbal tannins. Hewn of fruit from three vineyards: McIntyre, Robinson and Garden. Given a longer maceration than most (19-21 days), this address' wines seem light years away from when last tasted. For the better! More structure, depth and intensity all ‘round. Kudos. NED GOODWIN MW, winecompanion.com
    2018
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  8. Ocean Eight Pinot Gris 2019
    Ocean Eight Pinot Gris 2019
    Long, lush, juicy and fresh with plenty of zip and verve. The oak only plays a supportive role adding texture, nuance and a touch of spice rather then any 'oaky' influence. There is a wonderful focus and line to the long palate which carries succulent stone fruits and snappy spice. Its textural and has lovely weight with pitch-perfect balance and buzzy energy to the lingering finish. No wonder people can’t get enough, because we can’t. MYLES, PWS
    2019
    Pinot Gris
    Australia
    441
  9. Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2019
    Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2019
    Lithely and vibrant, this chardonnay is chiselled and cut with a delicious array of white stone fruits and pithy citrus flavours. Its pure fruit line is bolstered by subtle wafts of smoke, spice and a saline finish. Tightly coiled and energetic, not all is revealed at once. Take your time, give it lots of air - it needs to lose its pokerface. This is a stylish modern Aussie chardonnay with breathaking precision.  GABRIELLE POY, PWS
    2019
    chardonnay
    Australia
    441
  10. Moorooduc Estate Robinson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Moorooduc Estate Robinson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

    A lighter shade of Mornington, singing a soprano of bright red berry fruits and autumnal forest scents. Lifted and highly aromatic. The mid-weighted palate, lighter feeling than usual. Almost ethereal. Crunchy and saliva-sucking. Defined by an immaculate patina of tannin that is herb-inflected, yet ripe; detailed, yet svelte. A fine pinot of textural intrigue and freshness. NED GOODWIN MW, James Halliday’s Wine Companion

    Beautifully ethereal strawberries and wild raspberries with fresh herbs and pomegranate, as well as a light leafy edge and forest wood. The palate has attractive, lithe, strawberry and raspberry flavors with some pastry-like smoothness through the mid-section. Delicately detailed finish. Bright and succulent pinot that will develop complexity in bottle. NICK STOCK, jamessuckling.com

    2018
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  11. Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Smokey and sappy tones accentuate the savoury highlights around a deep core of blackberries and floral top notes. There’s a beautiful play between fruit and earth going on, while in the background a spine of fine framing tannins guides the wine along. Seamlessly interwoven French oak and whole bunch add nuance without taking the lead. There’s so much going on that your head is almost spinning, but there’s a beautiful confidence in the wine that keeps bringing you back and grounding you. A silken tail of tannins and an amaro twist of flavour on the finish complete the deal. GABRIELLE POY, PWS
    2019
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  12. Paradigm Hill L'ami Sage  Pinot Noir 2018
    Paradigm Hill L'ami Sage Pinot Noir 2018
    L'ami sage is the flagship here. This is the wine that has established Paradigm Hill's reputation. Gloriously perfumed and super seductive this is the kind of wine that draws Pinot fans to Mornington. It's a slick package with all the bits in the right place. I think it needs a little time to really show you what it has in stall but right now that perfume, spice and lacy, tart, red fruit is just so attractive. He uses the descriptor "enveloping silky tannins" when talking about the phenolics in this wine, that resonates with me. They are sweet and while evident they melt in to the fruit. It is a bright and crunchy number now but I think, as is always the case here, it needs a little time to build volume in the bottle. ROSCOE
    2018
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
  13. Scorpo Eocene Original Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Scorpo Eocene Original Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Scorpo ‘Eocene’ High Density Vineyard (9800 Vines to the Hectare) 2018 Pinot Noir is made from hand-picked fruit; Abel clone. It is wild yeast fermented in open stainless steel fermenters with 10% whole bunch and 90% destemmed fruit. It is pressed out after 20 days. Indigenous malolactic fermentation follows a few months after the wine is transferred to French oak barrels (20% new).  The wine is bottled without fining or filtration 13 months later. SCORPO

    We think this is one of the best versions we have seen of this wine. You can smell the pedigree here which opens to a melange of red fruits, a gentle earthyness and explosion of spice. The touch of whole bunch gives this a lovely lift and it's nice to see to see it used judiciously. Concentration and structure without feeling close or heavy. Wow. PWS
    2019
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
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