'This impressive tasting of Mornington Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs offered the best of both worlds – the consistent quality, fruit ripeness and intensity that we’ve come to expect from Australia, combined with Burgundian structure, complexity and balance. Pinots combined flavour-intensity and freshness, with ripe but present tannins lending good definition. Refreshingly for the New World, there wasn’t a hint of jamminess or confection in the line-up. In fact, in their callow youth, wines tended towards tartness, which explains why only one wine from the ‘09 vintage made the cut – most would benefit from a couple of years’ ageing. Top wines will keep for a decade or more. Site expression was pronounced, with darker fruits and chunkier tannins typifying the north’s warmer, low lying sites, while finer, redfruited styles hailed from the cooler, hillier south, more exposed to chilly Bass Strait breezes. Overall, there were extremely few over-oaked or over-extracted wines, which made for subtly seasoned, juicy, fluid wines with lovely length and line.
Those Pinots which most impressed seduced with their perfume, vivid fruit and supple silk and velvet tannins. Older wines revealed attractive earthy undertones. Those that showed mint or eucalyptus (over more classic floral notes) may appeal less to purists. Nuanced Chardonnays spanning four vintages shared a moreish savouriness and textural appeal, whether youthfully leesy and fresh, or with more developed beurre noisette. With just a handful of exceptions, winemaking was restrained, with well integrated oak and good use of natural yeasts and solids for complexity and mouthfeel. Richly endowed with white peach, voluptuous wines from warmer sites seemingly mopped up oak and bore favourable comparison with Meursault. Equally concentrated but tauter styles from cooler or early-picked sites with no malolactic fermentation showed brightly etched citrus or crunchy apple fruit and good acid drive. Simpler wines were characterised by more overt melon and tropical fruits. The Peninsula’s moderated maritime climate provided ample natural acidity, and very complete, food-friendly wines. Though younger wines were enjoyable now, the older Chardonnays demonstrated the rewards of patience, via complex tertiary notes of nuts, white asparagus and truffle. The very best – barrel selections and single parcels – should age well. All in all, a sophisticated line-up from an excellent run of vintages which offers an extremely credible alternative for Burgundy lovers.
The selection below were the highest rated of 69 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs tasted by Sarah Ahmed, Anthony Rose and Andrew Catchpole'
'Moorooduc Estate, McIntyre Chardonnay 2008 18.5
Coe Vintners Restrained savoury notes on the nose. Seamless palate with very good balance, minerality and rounded elegance. It has a cleansing freshness and savoury nuances to its white peach. Complex and intense. Drink: 2011– 2014. Alc: 14%
Moorooduc Estate, The Moorooduc Chardonnay 2007 17.5
Coe Vintners Smoky vanilla, toffee oak, nut and savoury bouquet; richness and opulence. Complete now. Shows new potato, white truffle and praline characters. Drink: 2011–2012. Alc: 13.5%
Moorooduc Estate, Robinson Pinot Noir 2008 17
Coe Vintners Plum, herb, tertiary earth and dark fruit bouquet. Supple, rich and layered palate with earthy beetroot, berry and cherry fruit, firm acidity and some extracted, chunky tannins. Good length. Drink: 2011–2015. Alc: 14%'
Moorooduc Estate Devil Bend Creek Pinot Noir, Morningotn Peninsula, A$27
Rick McIntyre is a man at the height of hsi powers. His top chardonnay and pinot noir pair (labelled The Moorooduc) are exquisite. Devil Bend Creek is a label that incorporates purchased fruit and is named after a local geographical landmark. From the 'no-excuses' 2010 vintage, this vibrant pinot offers a generous bouquet of red and black cherries, fresh currants and five-spice. Its soft, medium-bodied palate is super friendly with a tang of red fruit and a silken mouthfeel.' Peter Bourne
The same difference Production techniques can be extremely varied, even between neighbouring wineries.
Huon Hooke, Good Living, April 20th 2010 review
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Richard McIntyre, a surgeon-cum-winemaker whose family owns this outstanding Mornington Peninsula winery, is justly noted for chardonnay and pinot noir.
Huon Hooke, Good Living, April 3rd 2007
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The big noise from this Mornington Peninsula winery is full bodied, rich and almost opulent, with peach and fig flavours. Food: Roast free-range chook
Huon Hooke, Good Living, 10-04-07
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