Kooyong-by Courtney Tate (Wine Envy Buyer)
Kooyong is one of the most enduring, distinctive producers of Mornington Peninsula.
Winemaker Glen Hayley took over from Sandro Mosele in 2015 after joining the team in 2010. Before settling in at Kooyong, Hayley worked vintages all over Australia as well as Mosel, Central Otago, California and the Loire Valley. He has since married his minimalist approach and attention to detail to the expressive sites that make up the 40ha site in Tuerong, Mornington Peninsula.
Kooyong harnesses gravity in the winery for gentle handling of fruit, which plays a part in expressing their 5 incredible single sites; Faultline and Farrago for the Chardonnay, Ferrous, Haven and Meres for the Pinot Noir. It is this trio of single site Pinot Noirs that makes Kooyong a standout.
The three single site Pinot Noirs are personal favourites and are arguably the most characterful and expressive trio of Pinot Noirs in Australia. Each have their own intricacies and personalities, causing people to declare one as ‘their’ style of Pinot. Hands up if you're a Meres fan like myself.
Cherry, sweet beetroot and violet burst out amongst the signature rust and brown spice complexity. Ferrous through and through, the tannins are chewy, long and have an orange rind character. Serious drive and complexity.
Ferrous is sourced from a 0.7ha block with 21-year-old vines.. This gentle north-facing slope has a unique orientation and high exposure but most notably a high proportion of ironstone pebbles. This delivers incredible concentration and tannin profile year in year out.
Similarly to the other single site Pinot Noirs this wine began fermentation in concrete tank with wild yeast. A portion of whole bunches were used and slightly more new oak (30%) was used in the 14 month maturation before it was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Dark sensual cherry, blueberry and lavender bush. Hallmark anise and earth come through on the palate which is dense, though lifted with a line of spicy acidity.
Haven is sourced from a 0.6ha block that is the most sheltered of the three single sites. This sheltered spot leads to lush fruit with firm tannic structure. Often a fan favourite.
Haven is handled a little differently to the other two single site Pinots. It was entirely de-stemmed and fermented in large wooden and stainless steel tanks. Pressed to French barriques (of which 22% were new) for 14 months and bottled without fining or filtering.
Redcurrant, red cherry, rose, iris and cherry blossom. So much prettiness here over persistent ‘cool’ earthiness. Beetroot and cherry on the palate come through attractive supple tannins. A personal favourite, it is always subtle and effortlessly classy.
Meres is sourced from a 0.6 ha block with 21-year-old vines. This gentle north-facing slope is less loamy and has more clay topsoil than the other two single sites. This is the most exposed of the three sites and tend to express more red fruited, highly aromatic style Pinot Noir.
A portion of whole bunches were included in a wild yeast ferment. Fermentation took place in concrete tanks. This wine spent 14 months in 28% new french barriques before being bottled without fining or filtering.
Whichever one you choose, you will experience an honest, beautiful expression of Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula.