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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
    Special Price $14.40 Regular Price $18.00
  2. 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
    Special Price $23.00 Regular Price $27.00
  3. 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
    Special Price $24.00 Regular Price $30.00
  4. Kooyong Faultline Chardonnay 2019
    Kooyong Faultline Chardonnay 2019

    Kooyong and Faultline; puts me in mind of tennis. Well, anyone for tennis? And Chardonnay?

    It’s juicy, but quite tight and refined too. Pink grapefruit, wheatgerm and vanilla wafers, spice and nectarine. Zesty and intense flavour, firm flinty and slightly dusty texture, tight acidity, good grip, almond and zesty sweet citrus flavours on a long and chalky finish. I like it a little more than the Farrago, though that’s more a stylistic preference over quality. GARY WALSH, winefront.com

     

    2019
    chardonnay
    Australia
    441
    Special Price $52.80 Regular Price $66.00
  5. 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
    Special Price $54.40 Regular Price $68.00
  6. Kooyong Ferrous Pinot Noir 2019
    Kooyong Ferrous Pinot Noir 2019

    Fermented in large format wooden casks, whereas the Haven and Meres used concrete and stainless steel. Ferrous is usually my favourite of the trio...

    Cherry, a damp earthy sweetness, spicy biscuits.  Fleshy and earthy, cool and sappy acidity sitting comfortably in red and black fruits, amaro flavours like dried herb and orange peel, distinct ‘mineral’ feel, firm dusty tannin trails on a long sweet/sour/savoury/spicy finish. Distinctive. Almost an Italianate feel here, but don’t mind me. GARY WALSH, winefront.com

     

    2019
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
    Special Price $65.60 Regular Price $82.00
  7. Allies Cinq a Sept Vermouth 700ml
    Allies Cinq a Sept Vermouth 700ml
    Cinq a Sept is French vernacular for the aperitif time of day. For the uninitiated, Vermouth is a wine based fortified aperitif typically having elements of herb, spice, citrus and bitterness. Most often the wine plays second fiddle to the recipe but with Cinq a Sept it shares equal billing. Expect fresh raspberry fruit laced with refreshing herbs, exotic spice and mild bitterness. Great on ice with a slice of orange or grapefruit, longer with a dash of soda or as a bit player in cocktails like Negroni. ALLIES

    I am totally in love with this product! Why? Because its flippin delicious! Pinot Based vermouth from the man behind Allies David 'Chappy' Chappman. He has just nailed it with this bright, bitter, summery drink. The subtle sweetness is beautifully balanced against the bitter citrus notes and the whole thing just sings. Of course, it's begging for a Negroni but this is so good I would just splash it on some ice with a citrus twist of your choice and a dash of soda. Enough said. MYLES, PWS
    Vermouth
    Australia
    441
    $68.00
  8. Kooyong Faultline Chardonnay 2019 1500ml
    Kooyong Faultline Chardonnay 2019 1500ml

    Kooyong and Faultline; puts me in mind of tennis. Well, anyone for tennis? And Chardonnay?

    It’s juicy, but quite tight and refined too. Pink grapefruit, wheatgerm and vanilla wafers, spice and nectarine. Zesty and intense flavour, firm flinty and slightly dusty texture, tight acidity, good grip, almond and zesty sweet citrus flavours on a long and chalky finish. I like it a little more than the Farrago, though that’s more a stylistic preference over quality. GARY WALSH, winefront.com

    2019
    chardonnay
    Australia
    441
    Special Price $135.00 Regular Price $160.00
  9. Kooyong Ferrous Pinot Noir 2019 1500ml
    Kooyong Ferrous Pinot Noir 2019 1500ml

    Fermented in large format wooden casks, whereas the Haven and Meres used concrete and stainless steel. Ferrous is usually my favourite of the trio...

    Cherry, a damp earthy sweetness, spicy biscuits.  Fleshy and earthy, cool and sappy acidity sitting comfortably in red and black fruits, amaro flavours like dried herb and orange peel, distinct ‘mineral’ feel, firm dusty tannin trails on a long sweet/sour/savoury/spicy finish. Distinctive. Almost an Italianate feel here, but don’t mind me. GARY WALSH, winefront.com

    2019
    Pinot noir
    Australia
    441
    Special Price $165.00 Regular Price $195.00
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