MORNINGTON PENINSULA (PART 2)

Continuing with Mornington Peninsula Wines, please read on for more wine makers who have raised the bar for Australian wines. For Part 1, kindly click here

  • QUEALY 

Started by Kevin McCarthy & his Irish partner Kathleen Quealy in 1990s. Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir being the signature grapes of the estate (click here for the website), they operate 5 vineyards other than their own in the Peninsula.  Kevin is a is intensely proud of his work and his mission is to create unique and distinct wines on the Peninsula.  His wine labels are also delightful pieces of art work, which his close friend Ken Cato, a renowned artist helps create for him every year.  The resulting wines are psychologically uplifting even before you taste them! 

2015 Quealy "Tussie Mussie" Pinot Gris

 Photo credits:   Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

 

Tussie Mussie from medieval times refers to flower bouquet and their Pinot Gris is precisely representation of the name. Grown on higher altitudes, the grapes are picked at the extreme end of the season when they are fully ripened.  No skin contact is allowed in fermentation but the richness of the wines comes from lees ageing and regular stirring that gives it a fuller body. Usually having 4-6g of residual sugar, the wines are off dry on the palate. There is a rich spice note of liquoriche along with baked pear and apricot notes on the palate. Good finish of spice and floral notes. (7.5/10)

2015 Quealy "Musk Creek" Pinot Gris

 Photo credits:   Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

 

Possessing immense concentration of pear and apricots, this label is made from their Old Vines on similar altitudes as Tussie Mussie but on a cooler sea facing front. The vineyard is less than 5 km from sea. The palate is dry, with luscious pear, apple and stone fruits and has a very elegant aromatic mouth filling appeal. There are no heavy creamy notes and the wine has not seen oak.  The expression is one of light, a fresh feel coupled with good linear acidity and a lasting finish. (8.5/10)

2015 Quealy "Turbul" Friulano

 Photo credits:   Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

 

 

The winemaker is known to be one of the pioneers of this wine on the Peninsula. The grapes undergo extended skin fermented and then transferred into  barriques where they are left to mature for 6 months. Citrus notes with spice, white pepper, toast and herbal thyme and leafy aromas emanate from the wine. The palate is dry & crispy acidic with a lasting impression. (8.5/10)

 

2013 Quealy "Musk Creek" Pinot Noir

 Photo credits:   Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

 

With extended maceration and 20% of the wine undergoing whole bunch fermentation, there is good depth and red fruit concentration and the tannins beautifully blend in giving it a velvety texture. It has an easy drinkable style. (8/10)

 

  • SCORPO WINES

The 7 hectare Scorpo estate was started by Paul and Caroline Scorpo in 1997 who converted a dying apple and cherry orchard into a thriving vineyard, that boasts of one of the better wines in the Peninsula.  With north- north east aspect, the vineyards are perfectly placed to get the most amount of sunshine and warmth. Their wines reflect the old world drinking style and possess good levels of minerality and acidity.  The family has focused on following traditional Burgundian techniques of Wine making, including detailed study and use of judicious oak used by Burgundians, something that they are very passionate about. 

 

2015 Scorpo Estate Pinot Gris

 Photo credits:   Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

With whole bunch fermentation and ageing in 4 year old barrels (that are not stirred! as explained by Paul), the wine displays savoury, nutty, unctuous notes on the palate, along with balancing delicately with crisp grapefruit and lemon acidity, stone fruit ripeness and fresh floral appeal of blossoms.  With beautiful smooth texture and long lasting finish, the oak harmonises beautifully and subtly into the fruit notes, giving it incredible complexity. (9/10)

 

2012 Scorpo Estate Chardonnay

 

This is the only label where the family has used a more intense, contemporary style approach with use of new oak to add to the richness and weight of the wine. Along with classic apricot and citrus notes, the wine shows mushroomy and mature notes of toast, spice and vanilla. An expressive Chardonnay consciously meant to depict boldness and concentration, it creates a vivid and marked expression on the palate. (8.5/10)

 

2013 Scorpo Estate Pinot Noir

 Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

With notes of intensely ripe strawberry, rhubarb and raspberries, the wine has a good concentration and an easy drinking style.  They are aged for upto 12 months in Sirugue Oak (used in Burgundy) and have silky and fine grained firm tannins giving the wine a good structure. (8/10)

 

2013 Scorpo Estate Shiraz

 Photo credits:   Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

Only produced in certain years, this is reflective of a cool climate Shiraz with notes of red cherries and hint of blackberries. There is reasonable maturity in the wine, one that is still developing.  Notes of toast, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg are seeping through very well and the oak here also shows smooth integration with the fruits. Acidity is impressive and the tannins are firm and ripe and will help the wine age for atleast 4-6 years. (8.5/10)

 

  • Ten Minutes By Tractor 

Martin Spedding is the owner of the estate (click here for the website) that he bought in 2003 from 3 different families ; the name comes from the time it takes for the tractor to go from one vineyard to the other.  Reflective of cool climate, all vineyards face southerly winds that blow through them into the Bass Strait.  The vineyards are named Judd, McCutcheon and Wallis and recently he has purchased Coolart Road to the north east.  Using air borne imagering, soil sensory they have devised a unique Precision method of Viticulture thereby treating each Vineyard based on its own needs rather than adopting a standard method for all.  The restaurant situated on Spedding Vineyard caters to modern contemporary cuisine with emphasis on seasonal produce and hand crafted culinary delights.  Wines I tasted below are:

2015 10X Pinot Noir

 Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

 

With an easy drinking style, the wine is youthful with red fruit concentration, quite vibrant on the palate and very approachable.  (7.5/10)

 

2015 10X Chardonnay

 Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

 

Picked slightly earlier, there is intense refreshing acidity in this wine and balanced well with apricot, pear and grape notes, something that is always challenging with Chardonnay.  There is a mild grassy and leafy notes that gives it a unique twist and quite a crisp appeal. Aged in 15% New oak for upto 9 months, the oak flavours are intensely subtle and elegant. Very lively example of a youthful chardonnay. (9/10)

2014 Estate Chardonnay

 Photo credits:   Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

More intense and spice driven, they wines have been aged in 21% New oak and blended from selected barrels post ageing from single vineyards. It is fermented using indigenous yeasts and undergoes partial malo-lactic fermentation with regular lees stirring.  The creamy notes stand out in the palate and give it a buttery rich finesse.  Acidity is intentionally mellowed and oak notes are expressive although not over powering. Good example of a Chardonnay worth ageing. (9/10)

 

2014 Estate Pinot Noir

 Photo credits:   Sumi_Sumilier

Photo credits: Sumi_Sumilier

Made from grapes from Coolart Road estate, 2014 was not the best vintage for the estate and harvest was down to 20% of the regular vintage. However the wine still holds up with intense strawberry and aromatic floral concentration;  there is soft and silky ripe tannins with a beguiling charm and intense spice notes of cinnamon, liquoriche and pepper.  Very beautifully blended in oak, it has good focused acidity matching well with the structure. (8.5/10)