Monday, February 06, 2006

Port Phillip Estate and Kooyong (Mornington Peninsula)

To get to the Port Phillip Estate cellar door you have to make your way up a long driveway. But first you have to find Port Phillip Estate. That involves more than just a little bit of back and forth along the roads of Mornington Peninsula. After Moorooduc Estate we were not under any illusions about how easy it would be to find another winery. After going the wrong way at least once we finally pulled up outside the cellar door just as a brief rain shower began falling. That made the now necessary visit to the restrooms more of a sprint than a leisurely stroll. But the few moments necessary for relief saw the rain off and allowed a comfortable amble into a very open and airy tasting room that overlooks rows of vines.

Both vineyards are very new with Port Phillip Estate having been established in 1987 and Kooyong even later in 1995. Neither winery seemed greatly excited when I proposed a visit by email but I was at least informed that the Kooyong wines could be tasted at the Port Phillip Estate cellar door. Consequently we only got to taste the wines that were being poured rather than all the wines that are produced by these two wineries. The wines tasted were poured by a young fellow whose family owns a small bottle shop. He told us he wants to get into the wine business and sees his stint at the cellar door as a step in that direction. He was at least attentive and talkative.

First up was the 2004 Port Phillip Estate Pinot Noir ($32AUD). Cherry red with pink edge. Slightly closed, it yielded notes of spice and white pepper. On the palate the wine was soft and supple and well balanced with the flavors carrying well onto the palate. 2, 2, 3.6, 10.0 = 17.6/20, 88/100. Next was the 2001 Port Phillip Estate Shiraz ($20AUD). Cherry red with a pink edge. This had aromas of menthol, oak and red current. In the mouth the wine had a soft entry backed up by nice firm tannins but lacked any real complexity. 2, 2, 3.2, 9.5 = 16.7/20, 84/100. The younger 2003 Port Phillip Estate Shiraz ($32AUD) was a deeper cherry in color with pepper, spice and blackberry aromas. It was soft and supple with pleasant carry of flavors onto the palate, juicy acidity, but marred by a little bitterness to the finish. 2, 2, 3.8, 9.8 = 17.6/20, 88/100.

The only Kooyong wine available for tasting was their 2000 Kooyong Pinot Noir ($37AUD). This is apparently the second vintage, and it was quite impressive. Cherry red in color with a pink edge. Rich, ripe and bold, it had intense spice and smoke aromas. On the palate it was medium weight with firm astringency, nicely balanced and well structured, and with good length to the finish. 2, 2, 4.0, 10.1 = 18.1/20, 90/10

Port Phillip Estate Wines can be obtained from Southern Hemisphere Wine. Kooyong is available through the Australian Premium Wine Collection, although the APWC web site has yet to catch up with that information. We didn’t buy any wines at the cellar door but we did see Glen Green’s Essential Wine Tasting Guide with the Port Phillip Estate logo, and quickly snapped one up.

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