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.
September 2015 welcomed the beginning of budburst leading to a dry and warm spring. October was 3 degrees above the average temperature and El Niño affected the amount of rain we received. Vine vigour was controlled due to the lack of rainfall with the canopy generous and open. Fruitfulness was up from the previous vintage and flowering and fruit set occurred unhindered. Veraison commenced in early January.
The period between January and mid-March was warmer than historically usual and harvest began at the same time in February as recent vintages. Conditions remained very dry and warm throughout the harvest period, it was a compact vintage finishing in mid-March. The viticultural team worked steadily throughout harvest and delivered healthy and energetic fruit, with ripeness and acidity well balanced.
This wine comprises fruit from five Pinot Noir blocks grown at our Red Hill vineyard. The oldest block was planted in 1987, with more planting in 1997, 2001 and 2007. These five blocks span over 10.25 acres (5.28 ha) of the 23 acre (10 ha) vineyard, grown in various directions in deep, sloping, red basalt soil, overlooking Western Port Bay. This results in each parcel having its own identity and growth characteristics. The fruit was fermented in a combination of large-format wooden foudre and stainless steel tank, without yeast inoculation, for 18 days. The malolactic conversion was also indigenous. The maturation period was 11 months in French oak barriques, 20% new. The wine was then bottled without fining or filtration.
Attractive floral and fruit aromatics of rose petal, cranberry and strawberry combine with notes of a more savoury spectrum of pine and a clove-like spice. The palate displays the depth and richness of the 2016 vintage. Sinewy tannin, intense black cherry flavour and an excellent flow lead into an energetic and long finish.
An excellent producer from down in Mornington making several outstanding pinots. This one hits it mighty well with its fragrant aromas and smooth, exquisitely balanced palate profile.