Tag Archives: Montalto

Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Roadshow – 3/09/2013

I think I’ve probably mentioned it before, but the Mornington Peninsula happens to be my favourite region in Australia for various reasons. The region is best known for the quality of its wines, particularly pinot noir and chardonnay. but it also happens to have some of the most beautiful scenery, exceptional golf courses, and fine dining in the country. For the last 30 years it has been one of the only bastions of small vineyard artisan wineries, with very little corporate presence and predominantly family owned businesses. 26 of the regions finest producers made the trek to Melbourne to show their wares both to trade/media and also to consumers. I have separated many of the producers into individual posts, but here are my notes on a range of older vintages that were also on show.

Miceli Rosé Brut 2004
Quite intense bright aromatics, cheesy red fruits. Density and weight on the palate, juicy red fruits, raspberry roll-ups, dried apricots.

Montalto “Eleven” Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
Quite prominent leesy buttered oak, peachy cream. Reasonably light fresh on the palate, dried peach/pear, fat and textured on the back.

Crittenden Estate Chardonnay 2006
Dried stone fruits, thin but hot at the same time.

Moorooduc Chardonnay 2005
Quite dense rich mineralic heat coming off, leesy ripe stone fruits and citrus. Quite ripe and rich but very balanced elegant, exquisitely long, holding together beautifully.

Yabby Lake Pinot Noir 2008
Stalky floral musky lavender blueberries. Pure focused lean still very fresh, purity and finesse.

Phaedrus Pinot Noir Reserve 2008
Darker fuller on the nose, sweet briny earth. Denser fuller tannins, warmer rounder sweeter fruits.

10x tractor Judd Pinot Noir 2008
Quite pale in colour. Subtle but classic Mornington Pinot notes. Fresh light long and balanced. Ethereal length, balanced fruit and tannin.

Port Phillip Morillon Pinot Noir 2008
Darker more brooding nose. Quite warn and fairly extractive, a touch overworked, cooked okay fruit.

Quealy 17 Rows Pinot Noir 2007
Darker colour, more intense. Black ruby intensity, warm fruit ripeness. Broad fat juicy bland short.

Stonier Windmill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
Dark earthy clumsy oak. Hot maderised fat. Not what I think of for Mornington Pinot.

Hurley Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
Bright pretty earthy savoury. Full dense concentrated structured. Powerful and generous.

Prancing Horse Pinot Noir 2006
Meaty oyster sauce soy. Old-world style with a touch of new world fruit. Very unique and excellent wine.

Paringa Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
Certainly big, plenty of oak still sitting over everything and making the tannins a little aggressive, pretty aromas but just a bit too much intervention.

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Montalto – 10/07/2013

Montalto was one of the first wineries I visited, all the way back in 2005. Even then they had garnered much praise for their restaurant which continues to be one of the best on the Mornington Peninsula. The winery received five stars from Australian Wine Icon James Halliday, and from memory this had much to do with the superior site selection and vine age, and less with winemaking. Back then the fruit would be loaded up and ferried across Port Phillip Bay to the Bellarine Peninsula based Scotchman’s Hill winery.

In an effort to improve quality the owners made two important decisions. The first was to build their own winery within the region, and the second was to appoint Simon Black as the winemaker. In the last few years Simon has been making some changes to how the wines are made, such as keeping parcels separate, allowing oxidative handling, encouraging lees contact (even using previous vintage lees), and careful use of oak. At this stage I am liking the direction the wines are going as they distinguish themselves from much of the region’s wines. It is still early days and there is a lot of improvement to come in terms of quality and personality.

Pennon Hill Chardonnay 2012
Clean pure stone fruit classic Mornington fruit profile, a hint of malo fat old oak. Full and textured, fruit not broad or flabby, nor sweet. Certainly going for more texture and savoury, but possibly a tad brutish at the moment. Cheese rind plain yoghurt.

Estate Chardonnay 2012
Tighter more brooding subtlety, oakier density, toastier salted butter. Rounder yet more focused through the mid-palate, more integrated texture and savoury notes, maturity of citrus fruit.

Pennon Hill Pinot Noir 2012
Bright ruby black cherry blood plum. Purity zing freshness, straight, not fat or fruit-sweet, not grainy or broad.

Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Darker sweeter fruit profile, juicier esters. Bolder fuller body and texture, builds a bit more on the palate, more length with integrated oak. Enough fruit generosity? Too much savoury texture?

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