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 fruit was gently whole-bunch pressed directly into French oak barriques (20% of which were new), and 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 2019 Morillon Chardonnay displays a pure and fresh nose of white grapefruit and florals combined with attractive notes of flint, nougat and toasted spices. While there is some flesh to the stone fruit flavoured mid-palate, this wine is distinguished by the power, precision and fine pithy structure surrounding it. The finish is intense, with a lingering fresh lemon-lime acidity adding to the length. This wine is drinking well now but will develop further interest in the mid-term.
WineFront, May 2021
Lemony lift, green apple juice scents, struck match and wet slate there too with faint rice cereal notes. Cool and reserved in the palate, minimalist but with impact, courses along with authority and a nice, chalky-powdery grip with those citrus/apple flavours a feature, albeit dusted with some woody/cinnamon spice. Fresh finish. In a style, done well.
The Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2022, August 2021
A layer of woodsy spicy oak sits across this at the moment, which should (in time) melt into the body of the wine. Now the fruit is in the background, but it’s slick, textural, ripe and rich with cashew-nutty flavours and all the while it dances with flinty sulphides.
The Real Review, July 2021
Light to medium yellow colour, with a dominant initial aroma of reduction intertwined with quality oak: smoked-chicken and chicken-stock, the palate dense and yet only medium-bodied, adding a rich and complex blend of fruit flavours, with supple texture and lingering persistence. A very satisfying yet elegant chardonnay of generous flavour and prodigious length.
Wine of the Week, July 2021
Glen Hayley, who makes wines for both Port Phillip Estate and sibling label Kooyong, is on fire right now. The Morillon Chardonnay is sourced from a tiny section within the oldest chardonnay block (33+ years) at Port Phillip Estate’s Red Hill vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula. This is a wine of serious poise and structure; unmistakably cool climate with a delicious melange of citrus, Granny Smith apple and stone fruit characters.
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.