"Garagiste pinot noir is one of the safest wine bets going" Campbell Mattinson
The 2021 Merricks Pinot Noir, like in most other years, was the last fruit to ripen and therefore the last to be picked. The whole bunch portion was a little higher than usual this year (60%)—Flanders recognised the fruit could handle this given the quality and concentration of the vintage—which has added a savoury edge and a tannin complexity. The winemaking was, in true Garagiste form, pretty hands-off: natural fermentation, gentle extraction and 10 months in 25% new oak.
The oak, as always, takes a backseat and lets the fruit shine. This is a delicious brew of berry-fresh punch, earth and spice, bustling with delicious savoury complexity and an abundance of freshness. The savoury signature flows through the palate and drives a sinewy, pulpy and lifted mouthfeel, and there’s a graphite hint to the tannins, adding mineral complexity. Great length and crammed full of flavour, this is hard to fault.
Where this wine comes from - Mornington Peninsula
Another gem that’s part of Melbourne’s ‘Dress Circle’, the maritime climate of Mornington makes it Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Paradise. Sea breezes ensure the vineyards remain cool, ideal for producing styles with elegance and finesse. Red Hill, Merricks and Balnarring is where the main action is, enjoying the see breezes coming off Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. There’s also a vast array of alternative varieties that enjoy the peninsula’s maritime climate. Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris certainly has made its presence felt, producing both clean crisp, easy drinking Grigio styles, as well as richer, riper Gris styles. The whites are made for seafood, while Mornington Pinot Noir is a must with traditional duck dishes – either Chinese style or French.