There is a moment when the spirit of the vineyard is revealed. One may think one knows wine and yet, on this day, one truly discovers it.
Out on a perfectly still autumn day, two couples on a tailor-made wine-lovers tour dropped into a few wineries to taste freshly minted 2018 Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir.
Tasting young Ocean Eight and Principia Pinot Noir out of barrel brings focus to winemaking styles; structure, aroma and flavour. But young wines drawn from their oak treasure chests also provide insight into the growing season and the terroir of the vineyard.
These wines (both MV6 clone) showed traits defined by their unique terroir. The Ocean Eight exhibited a perfumed, plucky cherry character while the Principia was richer, dark fruited and more succulent. These differences can be traced to the warmer, seaside down-the-hill site and the cooler up-the-hill Main Ridge vineyard.
When these Pinot Noirs are bottled, they are sirens for the place from where they came. Throughout the journey, terroir is a fascinating stamp on a distinctive regional character of lighter, elegant Pinot Noir.