Moorooduc Estate Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Established in 1982 by Richard and Jill McIntyre, Moorooduc Estate was one of the early pioneers of the Mornington Peninsula.From the very beginning the focus has been on high quality production, with a hands-on approach and minimal use of chemicals in the vineyards, and minimum intervention in the winery. The varietal focus has always been on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and interpreted with a Burgundian sensibility.
From a small 20 tonne winery established in 1987, Moorooduc now crushes over 75 tonnes in its rammed earth winery and draws fruit from not only the home McIntyre Vineyard but also the Robinson, Garden and Osborn Vineyards nearby. Individual vineyard wines are produced from the first three of these, with the key objective being to elucidate the influence of each site’s particular terroir.
From his early endeavours, Richard McIntyre became one of the pioneers of wild-yeast fermentation in Australia and it has been de-rigueurat Moorooduc for many years. Sulphur use is carefully controlled, new oak is used sensitively and the white wines receive only minimal fining and filtration. The red wines are all bottled completely unfined and unfiltered.
For many years now, wines from Moorooduc Estate have been routinely included in James Halliday’s selection of the best varietal examples, not only of the Mornington Peninsula, but of all of Australia. With Jill and Richard’s daughter Kate McIntyre MW now engaged full-time at Moorooduc, the journey continues with a skins-ferment Pinot Gris and some whole-bunch fermentation of Pinot Noir lighting the path.
The original McIntyre Vineyard is an elevated site, about 80 metres above sea level, with a gentle north to north-westerly facing slope and was first planted in 1983 to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (today there is also a small plot of Shiraz). Over the years a range of clones has been planted or grafted on to the original vines, including Pinot Noir clones MV6, 115, 114, 777, 667, Abel and Pommard.
The Robinson Vineyard is owned by Moorooduc’s viticulturalist of many years, Hugh Robinson and is just a few kilometres south at Tuerong. The two Moorooduc individual vineyard wines are sourced from specific parcels of high quality clones of Chardonnay (Dijon 95 and 96) and Pinot Noir (MV6, 667 and 777).
The Garden Vineyard is just a stone’s throw from the McIntyre vineyard and is planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The ‘house block’ Pinot Noir is a small north facing slope. The ‘back block’ is west facing (Pinot Noir) and south-west facing (Pinot Gris). Here the clay subsoil is denser and so the vines lower in vigour as a result.
The Osborn Vineyard, owned by the Osborn family, is a north-facing, relatively productive mature vineyard established in the late 1980s. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from here form the basis of the Devil Bend Creek wines, while Pinot Gris is blended with that from the Garden Vineyard to create the Moorooduc Pinot Gris.
WINE NOTES AND REVIEWS
2016 Devil Bend Creek Chardonnay
The fruit for this wine comes predominantly from the Osborn vineyard, and we use low intervention winemaking, including wild yeast fermentation in old oak barrels, to celebrate the flavours we achieve in the Moorooduc ‘subregion’ of the Mornington Peninsula, unencumbered by new oak.
‘Bright lemon colour with aromas of lemon pith, beeswax and salted caramel. On the palate the wine is fresh and bright, with citrus fruit and nutty honey nougat flavours. Full-bodied yet elegant, with lovely length and crunchy natural acidity, that leaves your palate begging for more.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2016 Devil Bend Creek Pinot Noir
Hand harvested and 100% destemmed this wine is made using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and 10 months aging in older French Oak ensures good varietal expression.
‘A delicious, dark fruited pinot noir. Purple garnet in colour with a rich perfume of violets and dark ripe cherries. A touch of exotic pomegranate molasses and Mediterranean spice adds complexity to the nose, and follows through on the palate. Plush and juicy on the palate, with tangy orange notes and firm but silky tannins.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2015 Pinot Gris
The fruit from this wine comes from two Moorooduc vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula – the Garden Vineyard and the Osborn Vineyard.
‘From the Garden and Osborn Vineyards, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented in used French oak. The colour pick-up from the barrel fermentation, and time in bottle, is bright, setting the scene for a wine totally deserving the gris label, and Alsace-like in its mouthfeel and depth of ripe flavours. The Mornington Peninsula is arguably the premier region in Aus for pinot gris. Drink by 2023.’ 95 points, James Halliday, February 2017.
2017 Pinot Gris On Skins
100% Pinot Gris from the Osborn Vineyard, hand-picked, de-stemmed and wild-yeast fermented on skins. After a 19 day cuvaison, the wine is pressed to French oak barrels (2-3 years old) and matured on lees for 10 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
‘Deep salmon pink in colour with a savoury nose of wild herbs, dried rose petals, lavender and strawberry. On the palate, the wine is textural, with firm, fine-grained tannins, some wild strawberry fruit and savoury meaty flavours. Good length and structure on the finish. Drink cool but not chilled to best enjoy the unique floral aromas and tannic texture and enjoy with a charcuterie platter, or pasta with tomato passata.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
100% Chardonnay predominantly from the McIntyre Vineyard with a small portion from the Robinson Vineyard. Hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed, followed by wild-yeast ferment in French oak barriques (25% new) and natural malolactic. Matured on lees in barrel for 10 months.
‘Pale lemon in colour, with elegant white floral, lemon rind and white nectarine on the nose. A touch of mealy complexity adds interest. On the palate, the fruit and savoury flavours vie for attention and combine with the creamy texture, crisp, citrusy acid and long lingering stone fruit on the finish.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2015 Chardonnay Robinson Vineyard
100% Chardonnay from the Robinson Vineyard. Hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed, followed by wild-yeast ferment in French oak barriques (18% new). No malolactic. Matured on lees in barrel for 8 months.
‘Dijon clones 95 and 96 from the Robinson Vineyard, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented in French oak (18% new). Grapefruit shares the podium with white peach on the bouquet and the fresh, vibrant palate; these Dijon clones are the white version of pinot noir clone MV6, both giving star-bright varietal fruit expression almost everywhere they are planted. I really love this wine. Drink to 2025.’ 96 points, James Halliday, February 2017.
2015 ChardonnayThe Moorooduc McIntyre Vineyard
100% Chardonnay from the McIntyre Vineyard. Hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed, followed by wild-yeast ferment in French oak barriques (20% new) and natural malolactic. Matured on lees in barrel for 10 months.
‘From the original planting (’83) at Derril Road, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented in French oak (20% new), full mlf. The most cabernet sauvignon [sic] and richest of the ’15 Moorooduc Chardonnays, deeper in colour, and laden with opulent fruit, cream, grilled nuts and oak – it is amazing that all this has come from a wine with only 12.5% alcohol. It will carry on serenely for years, but I doubt whether it will ever be better than it is today. Drink to 2025.’ 95 points, James Halliday, February 2017.
2015 Pinot Noir
‘Five clones (MV6, 777, 667, Pommard and Abel), hand-picked, 18% whole bunches, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured in French oak (20% new). Light, bright crimson-purple; a bright and fresh into to the suite of lovely Moorooduc Estate Pinots from this great vintage. It is delicate, but very detailed, cherry fruit to the fore, and lingering long through to the aftertaste with the same message. Drink to 2025.’ 94 points, James Halliday, February 2017.
2015 Pinot NoirRobinson Vineyard
‘Three clones (MV6, 777 and 667), hand-picked, destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured in French oak (20% new). A complex bouquet with cherry, plum and spice aromas full of promise delivered – and then some – on the long, intricately detailed palate. The varietal fruit remains centre stage, but savoury/spicy/foresty notes provide a continuous drum beat urging you to return again and again, glorying in the wine’s complexity. Drink to 2030.’ 97 points, James Halliday, February 2017.
2015 Pinot NoirGarden Vineyard
100% Pinot Noir from the Garden Vineyard. Hand-picked, with 70% whole bunches included in the ferment. After a 20 day cuvaison, the wine is pressed to French oak barrels (25% new) and matured on lees for 17 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
‘Pale garnet in colour with a savoury and delicately perfumed nose. Meaty, herbal aromatics vie with lifted perfume, red cherry and tangy raspberry drops. Medium bodied on the palate, with sage, roast lamb and cranberry sauce flavours. The wine finishes fresh and bright, with good length and texture.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2015 Pinot NoirThe Moorooduc McIntyre Vineyard
‘Seven clones (MV6, 115, 114, 777, 667, Abel and Pommard), hand-picked, destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured in French oak (21% new). The bouquet is pure and perfumed, the palate pure silk with wild strawberry and red cherry fruits so intense they all but hid the complex fabric underneath. The balance and length are such that you might think the wine has arrived at its destination, but it has years before all of its secondary fruits can be explored. Drink to 2030.’ 97 points, James Halliday, February 2017.
‘Hand-picked, 100% whole bunches, wild yeast open-fermented, 18 days maceration, matured in French oak (25% new) new for 17 months. Excellent colour; has all the structure and depth of fruit one could wish for, and also brings textural characters into play, all driven by the whole bunches. Drink to 2030.’ 95 points, James Halliday, February 2017.
Hand harvested fruit comes from the McIntyre and Robinson vineyards. It is whole bunch pressed and is fermented using 100% indigenous yeast in French oak barrels (25% new). 100% malolactic ferment in barrel. The wine is then aged for 10 months on lees with only 1 racking.
‘Grown on two estate vineyards, each separately wild yeast-fermented with cloudy juice in a mix of new and used French oak. Offers a mix of stone fruit, hints of fig and honey, finishing with crisp, citrussy acidity, the oak impact negligible. Drink by 2021.’ 93 points, James Halliday, July 2016.
2014 Robinson Chardonnay
A single vineyard wine from the Robinson’s vineyard on the Old Moorooduc Road. All fruit is handnarvested and whole bunch pressed before 100% indigenous fermentation in French oak barrles (25% new). Natural maloloactic fermentation (50%) in barrel with 10 months on lees.
‘Fresh, lively and crisp is take 1; take 2 the intense squeaky acidity that appears without warning; take 3 is the blend of stone and citrus fruits; take 4 the nutty/creamy notes ex mlf and oak.’ 95 points, James Halliday, March 2016.
2014 McIntyre Chardonnay
A single vineyard wine from the oldest chardonnay vines grown in tthe McIntyre vineyard on the estate. All fruit is handnarvested and whole bunch pressed before 100% indigenous fermentation in French oak barrles (25% new). 100% Natural maloloactic fermentation in barrel with 10 months on lees.
‘The deeper, though still bright, colour of this chardonnay sends a very accurate message of grilled cashew, fig, white peach and nectarine arriving all at once on the palate. Hedonism lives. Drink by 2025’ 96 points, James Halliday, March 2016.
2014 Pinot Noir
Hand harvested yields of less than 2t/acre and 100% destemmed this wine is made using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. Elevage in French oak with 25% new. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
‘Ruby red in colour, this wine has a bright nose of red and black cherries, black raspberries, violet, lilies and hints of sandalwood spice. More savoury on the palate, with crunchy cherry fruit and darkly exotic spicy notes, reminiscent of church incense. Savoury, earthy, granitic notes linger and on the finish, a touch of the combination of sweet fruit and refreshing bitterness of sucking the last fruit off a cherry pip.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2014 Garden Vineyard Pinot Noir
Hand harvested from the Garden Vineyard on the McFaul farm across the hill. Yields of less than 2t/acre and 100% whole bunch fermented using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. Elevage in French oak with 25% new for 15 months with 1 racking. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
‘Hand-picked MV6 clone, 100% whole bunches, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured for 16 months in French oak (20-25% new). Deeply coloured, and equally deeply fruited on its bouquet and palate alike reflecting the small berries of the vintage. The plum and dark cherry fruit flavours roll around the mouth seeking to find all the tastebuds, and do so. This is still an infant, and one sure to prosper with more bottle age. Drink by 2029.’ 94 points, James Halliday, June 2016.
2014 Robinson Pinot Noir
Hand harvested from the Robinson’s vineyard on the Old Moorooduc Rd. Yields of less than 2t/acre with 20% whole bunch fermented using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. Elevage in French oak with 25% new for 15 months with 1 racking. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
‘Always the pretty one of the single vineyard pinots, this wine is bright ruby red, with a crunchy red cherry nose. Complexing notes of marzipan and lifted perfume of Moroccan pink rosebuds. On the palate the wine is fresh and spicy – hints of schezuan pepper, tangy red cherry and ferrous minerality are wrapped up in a silky texture and long finish. Drink by 2028.’ 95 points, James Halliday, March 2016.
2013 McIntyre Pinot Noir (James Halliday top 100 wines of 2015)
Hand harvested from the Estate vineyard on Derril Rd. Yields of less than 2t/acre with 20% whole bunch fermented using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. Elevage in French oak with 25% new for 15 months with 1 racking. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
‘Deep, bright colour, the bouquet with a haunting array of aromas ranging through spiced plums to hints of forest floor and truffles, the palate nonchalantly picking up the thread and amplifying it. This has far more weight and vinosity than most from the region, with even greater things will come over the next 10 years. Drink by 2028.’ 97 points, James Halliday, September 2015.