The Morillon Pinot Noir is sourced from the oldest block at Port Phillip Estate’s Red Hill vineyard. This 0.6 hectare block was planted in 1987 on a site nestled among folds of the hilly country in Red Hill. The iron and magnesium-rich but otherwise weathered basalts confer a savoury, earthy minerality to the wine. With maturity, the original block consistently produces wine with an extra level of structure, balance and intensity. In light of this we bottle a small portion separately as the ultimate expression of Pinot Noir from this vineyard. Harvested in late March, the fruit was fermented in a large-format wooden foudre. The ferment occurred spontaneously with ambient yeasts and lasted 19 days. Following fermentation, the wine was pressed and racked into French oak barriques (of which 20% were new) and underwent indigenous malolactic fermentation. The total maturation period was 14 months. The wine was then bottled without fining or filtration.
Fragrant and bright, the 2017 Morillon Pinot has an open-knit aroma of strawberry, raspberry, dried rose petal and alpine spice. The palate shows hints of sappy red cherry flesh along with a tight line of ultra-fine tannin. Direct and powerful, the palate drives long and finishes with cranberry and blood orange flavoured acidity. Whilst approachable in its youth, this wine will greatly benefit from time in the cellar.
The Wine Front, July 2019
It’s a pinot noir with a bit of brood to it. It’s as much red-berried as it is black, but it sits low on the palate, as if grumbling about something. It’s not a bad way for a young pinot noir to present. It’s flecked with spice, woodsmoke, orange rind and musk, the palate offering both tang and cream but mostly savoury-accented fruit. Sticks and stones, so to speak. It’s good now but it will get better.
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.