The Jimmy Watson Trophy is one of the most coveted and prestigious prizes in Australian winemaking, and for the first time since the 1950s a Pinot Noir has recently taken it out. On this episode I welcome the trophy-winning winemaker from Yabby Lake Tom Carson, who over the past 20 years has established a place in the industry not only for his exceptional skills as a vigneron but also his innovative business insights. We cover his origins, his studies and his path in the industry that has led him to putting pinot noir back on the map.
Tag Archives: Yabby Lake
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.
When I was young my grandparents owned a holiday house that our family made use of at least twice a year, particularly during summer. The house was pretty old, the beds weren’t very comfortable and worst of all there was no television. In spite of this I always looked forward to holidays there. The house was in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula between Rosebud and Sorrento, and I have fond memories of beaching, fish & chips and the summer carnival. They sold the house when I was in my early teens and suddenly there was a hole in my heart where those experiences used to be. Once I became interested in wine that hole was filled in a different way when I discovered it as a wine region. Over the years I was introduced to many other wines and regions in Australia, especially in the Yarra Valley where I worked for quite a while, but Mornington always remained my favourite region in Australia. So it seems fitting that the first region I visited since my return was to the Mornington Peninsula.
|At Main Ridge Estate, my favourite producer in the world|