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.
September 2015 welcomed the beginning of budburst leading to a dry and warm spring. October was 3 degrees above the average temperature and El Niño affected the amount of rain we received. Vine vigour was controlled due to the lack of rainfall with the canopy generous and open. Fruitfulness was up from the previous vintage and flowering and fruit set occurred unhindered. Veraison commenced in early January.
The period between January and mid-March was warmer than historically usual and harvest began at the same time in February as recent vintages. Conditions remained very dry and warm throughout the harvest period, it was a compact vintage finishing in mid-March. The viticultural team worked steadily throughout harvest and delivered healthy and energetic fruit, with ripeness and acidity well balanced.
The Morillon Pinot Noir is sourced from the oldest fruit parcel 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 early 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 25% were new) and underwent indigenous malolactic fermentation. The total maturation period was 14 months. The wine was then bottled without fining or filtration.
Intense, yet calm, the nose of the 2016 Morillon delivers scents of black raspberry, red currant, pine forest and spice. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe fine tannin that supports the fleshy core of cranberry and citrus fruit. It is long and precise while building powerful momentum through the finish. It shows great mid-term cellaring potential.