Moorooduc Estate, McIntyre, Mornington Peninsula, Australia 2013
Outstanding: runner-up in the top Pinot Noirs outside Burgundy tasting in April 2016 issue.
Ripe, oaky raspberry nose that has panache. Good attack, lean and precise, and has clarity of fruit. Not a weighty style but has an almost racy structure. Not yet hugely complex, but it is balanced and will age quite well.
Price UK £35 Coe Vintners
Dr Richard McIntyre ’s property in the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne is best known for its Chardonnay, but also enjoys a high reputation for its Pinot Noir. The winery was established in 1982, when the surgeon met Mornington Peninsula pioneers such as Gary Crittenden, who encouraged him to establish a vineyard. He initially planted 2ha of vines. Today there are 10ha of vineyards. Production is limited to around 2,500 cases and much of it is sold from the cellar door – the estate is easily accessible from Melbourne, an hour’s drive away.
The McIntyre vineyard was planted in 1983. A gently sloping site, facing north and northwest, it has soils of sand over clay. Yields rarely exceed 30hl/ha. Like many Pinot producers, McIntyre favours a non-interventionist approach, though the grapes are all destemmed. After fermentation in open-top steel vats with indigenous yeasts and manual punchdowns, the wine goes through its malolactic fermentation in barrels, and is then aged for 15 months on 25% new French oak with just one racking. It is bottled without fining or filtration.
2013 was a warm vintage, especially during the weeks just before the harvest, and McIntyre describes the wines as more ‘flamboyant’ than those from 2012. This was also the first vintage when he was able to use fruit from vines that had been grafted over from the Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1983 to a variety of top Pinot clones. McIntyre has experimented with whole-bunch fermentation, but decided that this wine had sufficient texture and structure to allow it to be vinified without any stems. He was clearly right.