I attended tastings of two interesting Mornington Peninsula producers.
Moorooduc Estate is one of the earliest wineries on the Peninsula, sitting in the Northern part. The wines I will be discussing are all 2012s, except the Chardonnay. The 2011 McIntyre Vineyard 'The Moorooduc' Chardonnay is their premium white. The Chardonnays have been affected less by the rainy 2011 vintage than the red wines. This wine has intense citrus flavours, balanced by good acidity (92 points). The 2012 Devil Bend Creek Pinot Noir is the entry level Pinot Noir wine, made from purchased fruit. It shows attractive cherry fruit, maybe a bit too much (88 points). The 2012 Estate Pinot Noir has much more complexity, including some savoury characteristics. It is an elegant wine, but the finish is rather short (91 points).
The 2012 Robinson Pinot Noir shows bright cherry fruit. It is precise, with silky tannins on the finish (93 points). The 2012 McIntyre Vineyard 'The Moorooduc' Pinot Noir is a darker wine, with black cherry flavours and strong tannins, due to the sandy soil, according to winemaker Kate McIntyre (93 points). Then there is an 'out there' Shiraz, the 2012 McIntyre Vineyard Whole Bunch Shiraz. It did not convince me: the result of the 100% whole bunches is a very dry feel on the palate and not enough fruit. I find this wine somewhat unrefined (87 points).
Hurley Vineyard is a winery not previously known to me. The style of the Pinot Noir is quite European, emphasizing texture more than fruit. The 2011 Estate Pinot Noir is in the strawberry/red cherry spectrum and a bit light bodied (88 points). Three single vineyard Pinot Noirs were shown from 2012. The 2012 Hurley Hommage Pinot Noir starts with strawberry flavours on the palate and moves to some savoury characteristics on the back. Overall, it is a little light (89 points). The 2012 Lodestone Pinot Noir has more weight, with cherry flavours, but it finishes slightly harsh (90 points). The 2012 Garamond Pinot Noir is probably the best known. It has savoury and earthy characteristics, displaying nice texture and balance (91 points).
I often found that Mornington Pinot Noirs had too much fruit weight and not enough length, you might say they were Shiraz drinker Pinot Noirs. The ones tasted here were certainly not that. There is more refinement and individual character. This has to be a good trend.