The Morillon Chardonnay is sourced from 0.1 hectare within the oldest Chardonnay block (1.3 hectares) at Port Phillip Estate’s Red Hill vineyard. This block was planted in 1988 on a site nestled among folds of the hilly country in Red Hill. The Red Hill vineyard is dominated by red basalt, yet the Chardonnay block is planted in an area of sandy grey loam over yellow clay. 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 Chardonnay from this vineyard.
The grapes were gently whole-bunch pressed directly into French oak barriques (of which 20% were new), where fermentation occurred spontaneously with ambient yeasts. After fermentation the wine was aged on lees (without battonage) for 11 months, with the only racking occurring directly prior to bottling. The wine was bottled without fining and with minimal filtration.
The 2018 Morillon Chardonnay opens with a fresh and pure nose of grapefruit, tangelo, flint and spice. Citrus characters dominate the palate along with hints of stone fruit. It is powerful, linear and delivers great transparency and refinement, finishing with intensity and chalky acidity.
WineFront, February 2020
Excellent flow and flavour. White peach mostly but with chalk, cream, honeysuckle and toasty, flinty cedar wood. It has good volume but still manages to feel elegant, particularly through the back half. It’s good now and it will develop nicely over the next handful of years.
Young Gun of Wine Top 50
There’s plenty of flavour here, but with plenty of restraint, too. There’s a white peach note and hints of yellow nectarine, with a savoury kernel character coming through. A sensible lick of oak plays on the nose and palate, with a savoury strictness to the mouthfeel, but it’s impeccably in balance, with the occasional toasty flicker. Although there is real fruit intensity here, there’s no sweet spot, just a nicely contained sense of concentration in harmony with linear direction.
Panel includes a host of Australia’s most respected wine critics, food journalists & sommeliers
The Port Phillip Estate Red Hill vineyard is located on the Mornington Peninsula 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.