The Port Phillip Estate vineyard is located on the Mornington Peninsula at Red Hill, on Eocene volcanic soils. Our wines are made from domain grown, handpicked grapes and aim to manifest terroir: the integration of our geology and soils with the macroclimate of our region, the mesoclimates of the various sites within our vineyard and the weather of the annual grape growing season. Our cultural operations in the vineyard and practices in the winery endeavour to articulate these unique characteristics diligently, respectfully and without artifice.
When the Eastern states of Australia’s decade-long drought broke in September of 2010, the rains were met with great relief. The cooler conditions delayed vine development and gave expected harvest timeframes more akin to historical averages. However the growing season weather patterns came to be shaped by a strong La Niña, which meant Spring and Summer rains were frequent and significant, increasing the time demands on our viticulture team. This season we employed a number of techniques in the vineyard not used for a number of years, including leaf plucking to improve ventilation and sunlight interception in the fruit zone. Surprisingly, fruit set was good and cropping levels quite moderate despite the lack of heat and high humidity during flowering. The ripening period was cool and extended and has produced fragrant and delicate white wines and Pinot Noirs with attractively ripe tannins, balanced natural acidity and elegant, savoury fruit.
The 2011 Port Phillip Estate Morillon Pinot Noir is a single site wine produced from 1.01 hectares of estate vineyard.
The fruit was fermented in large oak foudre for 22 days without yeast inoculation. 10% whole bunches were included. The malolactic conversion in barrel is also indigenous. The maturation period is 17 months in French oak (25% new). This wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
A light cherry ruby colour. Opens up with an ethereal, almost diaphanous nose of just-ripe strawberry, pomegranate and juicy raspberry. Then come complexing characters of red earthiness, roasting pan juices, hints of leather. The palate is bright and youthful, with more of the cherryish red fruits and hints of crushed herb and savoury spice. Kittenish, shy and remarkably fine grained to length.
Spicy and herbal, with a simple bouquet of red cherries, raspberries and dried herbs backed by smoky vanilla oak. Initially forward and juice, its flavours of small red berries and cherries become rather hollow and green-edged towards a sappy, metallic finish. It will flesh out, but it’s likely to remain on the green side of herbal.