Intense weather, pandemics, staff shortages and a year of lockdowns could not keep the Mornington Peninsula wine community from coming together to celebrate local producers at the Mornington Peninsula Wine Show lunch.
Eight trophies were presented to seven different producers, with the chardonnay and pinot noir wines of provenance impressing on judges the importance of site, season and skill to produce wines of quality and consistency over a span of years.
This year Yabby Lake was awarded the Chardonnay Provenance Trophy and Ten Minutes By Tractor the Pinot Noir Provenance Trophy.
Chief Judge, David Bicknell said the Provenance Awards provided memorable moments and demonstrated how the Mornington Peninsula produces wines with impressive ageability.
“The Pinot Noir Provenance Award could have gone two or three ways. It was a close run class that created lots of discussion amongst the judges about vintage variation and wine selection,” he said.
“In the end we went with the bravery of the producer to only show mature wines, Ten Minutes by Tractor. The wines were from 2010, 2012 and 2106. All mature, balanced and telling the story of the season in which they were grown. They were clearly from the same place and the same producer,” said Bicknell.
Bicknell said of the 2011, 2014 and 2017 Chardonnay wines from Yabby Lake that it was a clever entry as each wine came from cooler growing seasons, reinforcing the sense of place and maker.
“The wines were pristine, elegant and complex, with length to burn. Brilliant wines; the essence of cool climate chardonnay,” Bicknell explained.
“I think we need to talk more about the expression and reward of older wines in Australia, and the Provenance Awards at this show gave us reason to celebrate and talk about older vintage wines.
“The precocious young wines can wait for their turn.”
Despite fewer entries, the sparkling wine class was also impressive, with the trophy going to the 2017 Portsea Estate Traditional Method Sparkling.
There was a great spread of trophy winners this year. The 2021 Crittenden Estate Pinot Gris taking the trophy for Best Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris.
Best White Varietal or Blend went to the 2018 Foxeys Hangout Late Harvest Pinot Gris, which the judges noted had a good depth of flavour and was beautifully balanced.
The Eleven Single Vineyard Chardonnay, 2019, from Monalto was the winner of the Best Chardonnay which proved a challenging variety with a lot of variation between 2020 and 2019 vintages.
The Pinot Noir classes presented the same challenge with Bicknell describing it as the tale of two vintages, as 2020 was a much cooler year than 2019. The winner was the 2020 Paringa Estate Robinson Vineyard Pinot Noir.
The Best Red Varietal or Blend was awarded to the 2019 Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Shiraz which outclassed the other wines contesting for this trophy due to the notable balance between the fruit, oak and acidity.
But it was the 2010, 2012 and 2016 Ten Minutes By Tractor McCutcheon Vineyard which stole the hearts of the judges this year alongside the 2011, 2014 and 2017 Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay wines.
Bicknell’s message to wine producers at today’s lunch was the importance of thinking carefully about the expression of site, season and technique to strike the right tone with freshness and balance.
If these things are achieved, the wines will age and continue to impress over time as proven by the selection of wines in the Provenance Award classes.
Mornington Peninsula Wine CEO, Olivia Barrie said it was wonderful to see a room full of joyful faces, and to take time out together after a difficult year.
“We haven’t seen each other in so long and we are blessed to have so many amazing people contribute to our industry here on the Mornington Peninsula,” said Barrie.
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