(2021) From 300 million-year-old red/black volcanic soils, and a vineyard planted in 2001, this is organically grown and was made with 80% whole bunches. It matured for six months in 5,000-litre French oak foudres. Opaque, almost black in colour, there is a real Rhône sensibility about this, lower in alcohol (13.5%) and with a lean, mineral and stony edge to quite floral red fruits. The palate continues with that pure and relatively cool expression of Syrah, the fruit so tangy and juicy, bittersweet flavours flirt with kumquat and bitter orange, raspberry too. The finish shows a tight but creamy tannin and acid structure, with fruit concentrated but not extracted through to the finish.
(2021) Soils here in Victoria's Strathbogie Ranges are sandy loam overlying granite. This is from two Shiraz blocks planted in 1996 and 2013, and spent 12 months in mostly older French oak barrels and large casks. Dark purple/black, this is nicely aromatic, with peppercorns and some floral and herbal notes over refined, taut black fruits. Though labelled with 14.9% alcohol, it does carry it well, the palate firm and juicy thanks to a little endive bite of bittersweetness, very fine tannins and plenty of racy acidity. It's an intense but peppery and taut style.
(2021) From 'up the hill' picked weeks after the lower level vineyards, around 40% new oak here, there's a more toffeed, creamy, even chocolaty character here that adds more depth, but there's a punch and fruit skin grippiness to this. The palate has lusciousness, but also great clarity, a wine with concentration and yet no weight, shimmering and bright acidity and taut tannins giving knife-edge balance to this.
(2021) From a single block, fermented in large concrete tanks with some whole bunches, spontaneous ferment with wild yeasts. The wine spent 14 months in French oak barrels, 28% new. From more sandy soils, this is very pale again, and so gently aromatic, rhubarb and soft, sweet earthy tones, but such a feeling of delicacy, prettiness and freshness too. The palate has a lovely delicate and light-weight palate, with fine texture, very savoury, briary fruit and that dry, earthy and herby finish. Lovely. A 10 year wine according to xxxxx
(2021) Darker in colour, but not dense, this was fermented with wild yeasts and had 10% whole bunches, fermented in concrete fermenters, then into barrels, all French and 20% new, for 12 months. A more crisply defined nose compared to the Ocean Eight, crunchiness to the fruit, cranberry and redcurrant firmness. The palate has lots of fruit too, savoury and spiced, XX puts its freshness down to the concrete ferementers, it finishes with real briskness and meaty, savoury qualities to be very food-friendly with its lip-smacking acidity.
(2021) Like 2017, poor flowering and low yields, but 'smooth sailing' throught the summer with plenty of warmth and some heat spikes towards harvest where sugars rose and "there was a frenzy" to harvest, though a fine vintage. 20% whole bunches here, fermented in oak with wild yeasts, then racked to new and one year French oak of different sizes for 11 months, plus 10 months more of ageing in bottle. Crimson, but not dense, the perfume here is gorgeous, lift of cherries and old roses, the palate brimming with sweet but still crunchy fruit: cold cherries and a touch of pomegranate, a lovely finish of fine, ripe tannins and acids that supports beautifully.
(2020) The State of Victoria in Australia is home to some of the best Pinot Noir wines in the southern hemisphere, and the Mornington Peninsula, just south of Melbourne, is a prime spot. From estate vineyards planted in 1999, this was fermented in open vats using wild yeasts and matured for a year in older oak puncheons (larger, 500-litre barrels). It's a fairly full and ripe style of Pinot, but not too 'solid', retaining lovely Pinot energy and freshness, a pert cherry fruitiness and orangey tang to the fruit and acidity, the briskness of the tannins adding the fleet-footed character, in a fruity and charming Pinot for drinking now I'd guess.
(2019) Sealed with soft, yellow wax (and closed with a DIAM cork), this looks immediately inviting and, on opening, the fragrance just leaps from the glass: lots of redcurrant and cherry, but floral notes, spices, hints of gaminess and roasted chestnuts, altogether it displays a dazzling complexity and lots of charm. In the mouth it is substantial and yet ethereal. Grounding tannins and spice are layered through the decisive acid structure, yet there is gorgeous sweetness to the juicy red berry fruit, a tang of grapefruit or bitter Seville marmalade orange, and a hint of smokiness weaves through the finish. It's a classy Pinot that has everything: all-embracing sweet fruited charms, structure, gentleness and unfolding finesse. Terrific.
(2017) Very pure fruit, a really intense aroma of red berries and a hint of ashy lift and liquorice. The palate has sheer, silky fruit, plush but fresh and medium bodied, such sweet and pure fruit into a long, elegant, but powerfully concentrated finish. A huge contrast to the Ten Minutes, concentrated, plush, but equally delicious. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) Beautifully fragrant oak (all French barriques). A touch of vivid floral character, soft incense spice, open elegant and fruit driven on the palate, with really good acidity and a tight, tight tannin structure. Yet another different, and equally fine expression of Mornington Pinot. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for a different vintage.