The Kooyong vineyard is located on the Mornington Peninsula at Tuerong, on Miocene sedimentary soils. Our wines are made from domain grown, handpicked grapes and aim to manifest terroir: the integration of our geology and soils with the macroclimate of our region, the mesoclimates of the various sites within our vineyard and the weather of the annual grape growing season. Our cultural operations in the vineyard and practices in the winery endeavour to articulate these unique characteristics diligently, respectfully and without artifice.
The 2013-2014 growing season started with a warm winter followed by strong early season growth and an early spring with above average temperatures. An extended cold and wet period in October and November lead to a prolonged flowering period with reduced fruit set, resulting in below average yields.
This cold period continued throughout December, finally broken by a warm summer with several heat waves during the month of January. A warm February and the lower yields brought an earlier than usual start to harvest.
Mild March weather and the lower yields made for a short and steady harvest for both our viticultural and winery teams.
While yields were low, the quality of the fruit was very high producing wines that impress with depth, length and linear direction.
Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir comprises fruit from a combination of blocks within our Meres, Haven and Ferrous vineyards. It offers a broader taste of the Kooyong vineyard, with parcels from various soils and mesoclimates blended together to create the Estate label. Year after year the same blocks are consistently chosen, giving this wine an underlying similarity across vintages. The fruit was fermented in a combination of large-format oak foudre, large-format concrete tanks and stainless steel tanks, without yeast inoculation, for 18 to 21 days, with a small proportion of whole bunches included. The malolactic conversion was also indigenous. The maturation period was nine months in French oak barriques, 25% new, followed by a further 10 months in large format French oak foudres. The wine was then bottled without fining or filtration.
The fragrant nose offers a broad array of autumnal notes – woodsy spice, leaf litter and earth, alongside bright wild berries and a subtle cured meatiness. The core of the wine carries a juicy and sappy mid-weight texture that is firmly supported with a dusting of finely integrated tannin. Black cherry and raspberry flavours lead into a long and intense finish.
Emphasis on bright fruit is steadily taking a back seat at Kooyong as the murkiest depths of the forest floor are rummaged through. This is stewy and earthen with woody spice and tangelo notes pinging out in front. Dry tannin exerts a force on the wine; there’s almost an Italianate feel here.
This steps up intensity and complexity with a whole bunch spice and strawberry fruit concentration. The palate has fabulous fruit, ripe strawberry fruits, even long and fleshy generosity with very fine-grained tannins on the long finish.
Rob Geddes MW
A problematic, variable vintage with uneven ripeness. Spicy, smoky and savoury on the nose. Grippy, savoury and structured on the palate with some damson, herbs and bitter plums, as well as some sweet cherries. Intriguing stuff with a very savoury personality.
Smoky, minerally, reductive style. More than a little attitude to it; almost seems cocky. Wood smoke runs through cherries. Smattering of spice. Twiggy notes. Top Notch.
World class Pinot Noir for under $50? Snap it up. Much better than most entry-level village Burgundies and Central Otago stars and certainly more affordable. This is a stunning wine that ticks all the pinot boxes with intense red berry fruit, forest floor earthiness, gamey/mushroom notes and a sinewy tannin structure. I was going to give this a 93/100 on tasting but upped that to 94 after drinking. Excellent.
This is the best Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir I’ve tasted in a while. Maybe even in a long while. It’s minerally. It’s earthen. It’s undergrowthy. All these words sprang to mind, as I tasted it, prior to any thought of fruit, though it’s well adorned in this respect too, with dark, beefy black cherry flavours showing plenty of grunt. Tannin; there’s tannin. Lots of it. Firm and ropey, smoky, it dopes the fruit into playing by tannin’s rules. From there: we see spice, herbs, stems, there’s no caboodle without the full kit. In short, we have ourselves a beauty here.