Unique White Wines from the Mornington Peninsula
We were told you can find a good drop or two across the Mornington Peninsula – so the team set out to find interesting releases from the region. Diving into a range of wines that aren’t necessarily common, we’ve unearthed multiple gems which reflect a sense of place and artisan process.
First up from the Share Plate test kitchen: unique white varieties!
Garry and the Crittenden family are dedicated hand-crafted winemakers who deliberately keep a small scale. A sustainable focus is powered by solar panels, using recycled water and with an on-site wastewater treatment plant provides a great basis for the vines to thrive. They also have two onsite beehives with raw honey available at the cellar door – yum!
Italian for ‘today’, Oggi ($35AU for the 2017 release) was harvested and destemmed before the addition of wild yeast, with juice fermenting on skins for nearly 10 days before being moved into seasoned French Oak barrels for 24 months.
With a blend of Fiano and Arneis Italian grapes, the unique release can be enjoyed as soon as purchased or cellared up to 7 years.. The extra skin contact and red wine process gives it depth and body, with a lot of fruit characters – think citrus, guava and nectarines. Too easy to drink: Molto bené!
- Combining great wine with great, simple Italian food is never a bad idea. We'd also recommend Malay or Japanese pork dishes for a great umami match!
- Direct from Crittenden here: https://www.crittendenwines.com.au/product/2016-OGGI
Visit and taste:
2017 Citrea Riesling,
Run by Lucas, Tom, Alyce and Sarah, Kerri Greens is a collective of exciting winemakers developing releases from single vineyards around the Peninsula. There is an emphasis on patience, minimal intervention during the organic process and no preservatives in the end products.
Their 2018 Citrea Riesling ($30AU) is gorgeous – there is no better way to describe it. Taking the name from Mediterranean bacteria (!) that has a yellow hue and produces antibiotics.
Riesling isn’t common in this section of the state which makes this release a rarity and an impressive achievement from the Kerri Greens team!
Made in two barrels with grapes sourced from an organic Quealy vineyard, apricot, apple and pear notes round a floral front and dry finish. Delicious!
- Do you have to pair wine with food? Not really - enjoy this by itself!
- Direct from Kerri Greens here: http://www.kerrigreens.com/shop/2017-citrea-riesling
Visit and taste:
Once confined to the Rhone Valley in France, Viognier (vee–own–yay) has expanded into corners across the world after nearly disappearing in extinction. Exclusively estate grown on the lovely 64ha property “Bulldog Run”, Baillieu Wines are produced from a single 10ha vineyard.
Whole bunch pressed, the wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures, retaining the perfume of the grapes. Recommended as a fresh take on a varietal that is often overlooked, the resulting bottle is exceptionally balanced.
Slightly herbal with stonefruit overtones, the Baillieu 2018 Viognier ($23AU) pours pale and with a slight oiliness in the glass, and the great flavour finishes softly.
- There's an aromatic quality to this bottle – pair with a light, herby dish such as Pho
- Direct from the Merricks General Wine Store here: https://mgwinestore.com.au/product/baillieu-viognier-2018/
Visit and taste:
- You can't visit Bulldog Run but it's well worth stopping by Merricks General Wine Store to peruse a range of wines who don't have operating cellar doors, including Baillieu and Elgee Park - 3460 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks VIC
Not a typo. We’re not talking about Sauvignon – the wine that became super famous across Australia and NZ a few years ago – but Savagnin: a green-skinned berry vine, mostly grown in the Jura region of France.
You could argue that this variety is… unfashionable? But only in the sense that it isn’t widely available, and a lot of major growers focus on more common releases. Originally winemakers thought they had planted the vine Albariño, until a French visitor noticed distinct differences and the corrections were made.
This release from Tucks is a hell of a bright, zesty wine. Both Jura and Mornington are cool climates, producing excellent Pinot Noirs, so there is a natural fit at play.
Made from fruit exclusively from their vineyard, the vines are nurtured in order to reflect the complexities of the site – and it shows. Their 2018 Savagnin ($32AU) is floral and savoury, with some lime and apple leading to a creamy finish.
- Is it bad for us to say this is a perfect lunch wine? No? OK, good. It helps that the Tucks vineyard in Red Hill is a fantastic lunch spot, but if you can’t make it there, put together a dish with some spice and settle in
- Direct from Tucks here: https://www.tuckswine.com.au/product/tucks-savagnin/
Visit and taste:
2017 Fumé Blanc,
This time, we ARE talking about Sauvignon Blanc – but with a difference.
Fumé Blanc wines are true to their origin in Pouilly-Fume, France. Comprising of a spontaneous fermentation stage and oak barrel ageing, there is an added complexity that isn’t apparent in clean drinking Sav Blanc bottles.
Strangely enough, this method was developed in Americ in the late 60s to provide a point of difference against their market for overly sweet wines.
Fumé Blanc is part of the Estate range from Crittenden - this bottle is one of their premium releases for a reason.
Racked into barrels after a week of daily stirring (to increase the textural feel) natural wild yeast starts spontaneously and begins to ferment.
Left alone to work its magic, a small percentage of the blend is allowed to go through malolactic fermentation, leading to a complex release which highlights a range of flavours.
Lively at the start with fresh strawberries and lemons coming through. There’s an almost smoky hint too – the spontaneous ferment adds an intricate depth that comes with each mouthful. Sublime.
- Go Moroccan: charcoal-fired lamb with cumin and salt, chickpeas, apricots, and lemon zest. This wine won’t last long regardless of what you pair with it.
- Direct from Crittenden here: https://www.crittendenwines.com.au/product/Crittenden-Estate-Peninsula-Fume-Blanc
Visit and taste:
Discover the best food and drink through this amazing region of Australia by purchasing our upcoming Mornington Peninsula issue! Pre-order here:
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