Releases from Mornington and Burgundy impress

Port Phillip Estate single-site pinots, Balnarring and Red Hill, impressed Huon Hooke. Port Philip Estate

The 2019 vintage seems to have been a ripper on the Mornington Peninsula, if my early tastings are any guide.

For most wineries, the top wines, the single vineyard and reserve wines, have yet to emerge. But you can usually get an indication that some stunners are coming when the entry-level wines in any given vintage are impressive.

My two favourites were Port Phillip Estate Balnarring and Quealy KK01, coincidentally both from the Balnarring area.

I’ve seen those of stablemates Port Phillip Estate and Kooyong, and Ten Minutes By Tractor and Paringa Estate, and they’re superb. Their top-end wines will see the light of day in the coming months.

I’ve already had a preview of the Stonier single-vineyard wines and they are superb – as good as the 2018s.

And most recently, the Port Phillip Estate single-site pinots, Balnarring and Red Hill, impressed me. The AUD $39 prices make these a gift. Likewise the Quealy wines, the KK01 and Tussie Mussie are smart wines in a bigger-framed style. And at AUD $40 each, that’s more great news.

Moving up to AUD $54, the Kooyong Estate wine is a ripper, suggesting that the pricier single-block wines (Ferrous, Haven, etc) will be very exciting.

The Port Phillip Estate entry-level pinot, Quartier, is also a smart buy at AUD $27.

My two favourites were Port Phillip Estate Balnarring and Quealy KK01, coincidentally both from the Balnarring area. This bodes well for Kevin Bell’s Hurley wines which I’ve also yet to see. His 2018s were extraordinarily good.

Mornington, of course, had a charmed life this last vintage, being one of the few wine regions of Victoria to avoid the bushfires and attendant smoke-taint issues.

I also tasted the latest batch of Burgundies from the Marchand & Burch French Collection – the 2018s, from another many-splendoured vintage. Not surprisingly, the lone grand cru, Clos de la Roche, was the top-rated wine, and so it should be at AUD $533. A broad-shouldered wine, and one of only two that I thought needed more time. The other was the Nuits-Saint-Georges (AUD $120).

The most deliciously enjoyable now was the Morey-Saint-Denis Les Millandes 1er Cru (AUD $190), a gorgeous drink now but also with a bright future. Close behind it were the Beaune Clos du Roi 1er Cru (AUD $120), the Gevrey-Chambertin (AUD $125), the Volnay Fremiets 1er cru and Vosne-Romanée (both AUD $178). I tasted 12 red Burgundies plus a lone white Burgundy and a Beaujolais cru: 2018 Savigny-les-Beaune 1er cru Les Vergelesses (AUD $96) and 2019 Morgon (AUD $58) – both excellent.

My final impression was that this was the best line-up of new releases I’ve seen yet from Marchand & Burch.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *