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.
As the La Niña conditions of 2011 continued in weakened form, the winter of 2011 was warmer than average and the Peninsula experienced about 20 to 30% above average rainfall. Budburst was early and the spring temperatures were close to, albeit slightly above average; humidity was elevated also. Rainfall was again above average but conditions were fundamentally more manageable than the previous season. Early growth was good although inflorescences were small. Flowering and fruit set went well as summer brought in some welcome drier conditions. The ripening period was average to slightly cooler than average and rainfall was frequent leading up to harvest though there weren’t any significant problems with disease. Harvest was a little early, particularly for Pinot Noir as bunch sizes were limited by the previous cold summer; this lowering of yields was more pronounced with the more elevated, cooler sites on the Peninsula.
Tasted July 2014
This is a single-site wine produced from a gently sloped 1.74 hectares of 15-year-old vines in the Ferrous vineyard. These vines naturally produce low yields, due to a combination of unique orientation, free drainage and high exposure. Along with this, the soil has a far greater prevalence of ironstone pebbles than is found in any other part of the vineyard and delivers a wine with great concentration and savoury tannic presence. For the third consecutive year this wine was fermented in large-format oak foudre. The ferment, with 12% whole bunches, commenced without yeast inoculation and lasted for 22 days. After fermentation, the wine was then pressed and racked into French oak barriques (of which 30% were new) and underwent indigenous malolactic fermentation. The wine was racked only once, with a total maturation period of 17 months. It was then bottled without fining or filtration.
Very much in the mold of classic Ferrous vintages such as 2005 and 2010, The 2012 Ferrous has a well-layered nose of red raspberry, earth and a hint of ironstone. Flavours of liqueur cherry and blood orange lead into a tightly structured and focused palate with incredible length and tannin persistence: this should mature gracefully for well beyond a decade.
Vivid crimson-purple; the highly fragrant bouquet tells of a palate that has electrifying drive to its cascade of red and black cherry fruits that sweep up the new oak and fine-grained tannins, barely acknowledging their presence.
Charmingly textured, balanced and savoury, with a delicate if slightly closed bouquet of raspberries, blood plums, red cherries and earthy notes of animal hide lifted by scents of rose petals. It’s fine and firmish, with a drying, tight-knit spine beneath its intense, long and even palate of restrained plum and cherry flavours, finishing marginally mineral and savoury, with lingering notes of fruit and cola.
A personal favourite, the ruby-coloured 2012 Single Vineyard Ferrous Pinot Noir displays a lovely herbal/earthy fragrance over a core of red cherries with a good grainy tannin backbone, great freshness and a very long, mineral- and iron ore-laced finish. That appealing ferrous character – more than just power of suggestion? Great tension and length suggest giving this one another year or two in bottle to drink it at its best.
Ferrous? Ironman, see. This is right up my alley. The vineyard’s riddled with buckshot and grapeshot ironstone. To my hooter, the wine smells like iron in the summer. That tight, slightly threatening hardness of a rusty galvo shed in a drought. But then, in great relief, comes the cherries, maraschino and morello, and the raspberry. Holy s#*t. It’s very beautiful. If you could magically conjure a crème caramel from those fruits, this’d be it. Once you forget the iron, which most will not notice anyway, this is all fruit and creamy, motherly comforts. It has Riesling-like acidity and very fine-grained chalk-like tannins, but the freshest, most endearing and secure fruits fleshing up those dry bones. Stunning.
Very evocative, sweet-fruited perfume – red cherry, cranberries, strawberry with musk sticks, incense and briar in tow. A racy wine, light and fresh, finishing with mouth-watering acidity and a purity of fruit in tow. It’s primary and vibrant, fine with sweet red fruit character and trimmed with light, spicy tannins. You’d say delicate. Fine, finessed style.