August 4, 2017
2015 Pennon Hill Chardonnay – 95 points
As ever, winemaker Simon Black walks on the wild side, yet the wine’s abundant complexity is coherent, with both the grapefruit and acidity weaving a grainy textural play through to the long, harmonious finish.
2015 Montalto Estate Shiraz – 95 points
Simon Black has let his hair down (and it’s a wild and woolly mop), and it’s very clear impact on the wine is no surprise. Savoury tannins are men at work from the outset, the fruits a profusion of red, purple and black. Gold medals at Mornington Peninsula and the National Cool Climate Wine Show show that judges didn’t regard the challenges inherent in the wine to be too great.
2015 The Eleven Single Vineyard Chardonnay – 96 points
Has the intensity and sense of purpose lacking from a fair few Mornington Peninsula chardonnays. Its bouquet is complex thanks to a degree of engineered funk, then a vigourous and long palate leaving no questions unanswered. It will cruise through the next 5-10 years.
2015 Montalto Estate Chardonnay – 96 points
A decidedly funky complexity plays throughout the bouquet and the long palate, yet breaks free into utter purity on the finish and – in particular – the aftertaste. Grapefruit is the key in terms of fruit, giving emphasis on the back-palate and finish.
2015 Main Ridge Block Pinot Noir – 97 points
Bright, light crimson; this is one extremely complex pinot noir, with all the floral spices and highways and byways of the palate, which is equally devoted, twiggy/foresty on one side, small red fruits on the other. Its magic lies with the way the red fruits flow around the foresty notes without any apparent effort, and guide the wine through to its delicious finish and aftertaste.
2015 Merricks Block Pinot Noir – 96 points
A hyper-fragrant bouquet sends multiple messages of fruit and forest, not letting you proceed to the palate. Breaking free, the Montalto magic cleaves a way through the forest for the river of beautifully cadenced red fruits and plums, acidity and oak drawing out the finish of a beautiful pinot. Two gold medals ’16.
2015 Red Hill Block Pinot Noir – 95 points
Simon Black clearly uses left field techniques when he thinks they will result in better wine, but there are wines such as this which call for a mainstream approach. Here the plum family provides the engine that drives the bouquet and palate alike. It results in a cool, calm and collected pinot that simply
says drink me.
2015 Tuerong Block Pinot Noir – 96 points
This plays a tap dance between spice and fruit to set the tone for all the rest that lies behind. Again you have a pinot that flashes all the complexity of the four single vineyards, there is an overarching elegance
in all these wines.