The Kooyong vineyard is located on the Mornington Peninsula at Tuerong, on Miocene sedimentary 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.
The 2012 winter saw a return to cold and wet conditions with the wettest June in 20 years. Soils were at water holding capacity delaying budburst 10 days. Vine growth was balanced and flowering ensued well, delivering good crop levels. Despite sporadic rain, the summer was mainly dry with vigour kept in check and disease pressure low. Our continuing application of composts, organic teas and other organic practices have advanced the health and resilience of our vines. Vintage commenced at the beginning of March presenting excellent fruit. A period of very warm days and nights then rapidly ripened the remaining fruit causing vintage to be the most compact we have experienced requiring great efforts from both viticultural and winemaking teams.
Tasted May 2015
The smallest of all our vineyard blocks (planted 1998), the Farrago wine is sourced from just 1.02 ha of a 2.76 ha gently sloping Chardonnay block. The mottled appearance of the clay soil is caused by a high percentage of ironstone pebbles, much like the Ferrous vineyard. This siliceous influence helps infuse the resulting wines with linearity and minerality. The grapes were gently whole-bunch pressed directly into all-used French oak barriques, where fermentation took place without inoculation. After fermentation the wine was aged on lees (without battonage) for 12 months, with the only racking occurring directly prior to bottling. The wine was bottled without fining and with minimal filtration.
The 2013 Farrago continues the exciting expression of this vineyard, with the nose offering fresh and complex notes of flint, pebble and citrus zest. The precise and focused palate shows youthful austerity, with an exotic mix of star fruit, lime and wet stone. The wine climaxes into a long and powerful chalk-laden finish. Will reward time in the cellar.
Flinty edges but the soar of fruit is the thing. Grapefruit, apple and white peach with a shining wire of citrusy acidity strung from start to finish. Creamy oak. Gorgeous persistence. Good enough to spellbind.
Quite developed, this savoury and mineral chardonnay has a funky bouquet of grapefruit, smoked meats, bath salts and melon backed by assertive vanilla and lemony oak, with undertones of cloves and ginger. It’s deeply flavoured and seamless, with a luscious core of fruit that becomes more tapered and focused towards its long and savoury finish of citrusy acids. Just a little angular for an even higher rating.
The 2013 Kooyong Single Vineyard Farrago Chardonnay has a savoury baking bread, yeast extract and nutty nose over a core of lemons, white peaches and struck match plus a waft of orange blossoms. Light to medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with creamy citrus and stone fruit flavours with the yeasty layers coming through in the long finish.
A showpiece of Sandro Mosele’s exacting craftsmanship, with every nuance assembled perfectly in its place like clockwork, creating a seamless palate of fine-strung texture and persistence that hovers, undeterred, for minutes.
More aromatic than the Faultline, hazelnut kernel and oyster shell flavours dance with flinty sulphur notes. The wine has broad shoulders and a stern backbone of acidity. There is width and yet there is tension.
Complex Mornington Peninsula chardonnay from a benchmark estate. It’s a smooth, poised middleweight with a long smoky finish.
I started tasting this wine, all serious and professional, and then at some point must have drifted off. Leant back in the chair, had a few mouthfuls, started thinking of the mountains I’d like to ride up on my bike, had another sip, tripped around the Internet, then finally remembered that I’m supposed to be reviewing. If wines were people, which they’re not, this wine would demand to be drunk, and not merely ‘tasted’.
It’s built on citrus, green melon and apple but there’s a peachiness too, a creaminess, a toastiness and of course some bitterness from grapefruit. It’s a fruit gamut, with oak, on the park. It powers through but lilts long; it roars with acidity but has flavour draped and flowing. Indeed, this is very fine, indeed.