2014 Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir revisited and available once more
Vintage 2014 remembered, the lowest yields we’ve ever seen.
2014 on the Mornington Peninsula is remembered for the extremely low yields, the lowest since 2002. Pinot Noir averaged 0.6 tonnes to the acre, an almost impossibly small crop and there were many heartbreaking stories in the area of vineyards, in particularly cool sites, that did not pick the fruit, instead choosing to cut their losses. Sadly, we had one such vineyard in Main Ridge.
Persistent wet soils and cool temperatures in early spring, as well as missing the all-important rise in soil temperatures, meant that that flowering and set was a problem. Whilst the bunch number was low, the real kicker was berry number. Most flowers failed to fertilise and the few that did manage to set were vastly different in size. Hen and chicken to the extreme. The warm weather finally came and the lead into vintage was ideal. Every berry saw the sun (they hardly touched each other) and picking was orderly, starting with Teurong in the first week of March, then Merricks and Red Hill, finishing in the second week of April. Many parcels of Pinot came in with beautiful fruit and modest sugar at 12.8-13.0 Baume.
On release the wines were met with much critical acclaim:
“In best Montalto tradition, involving unique handling processes in the winery, this has a tapestry of dark fruits, stem, spice and fine tannins, the fruit and savoury forces locked in combat with neither winning. Gold medals Melbourne Wine Show '15 and Winewise Small Vignerons Awards '15, where it was also awarded the trophy for Best Pinot Noir.”
“Montalto are in great form. Simon Black is such a talented winemaker. Sour cherries, briar, a little spice and cedar, floral and dried herb perfume. Medium-bodied, has a distinct kind of rose oil mouth perfume, tangy tight acidity, sweet and sour plums and cherries, laden with cassia bark and cloves (like that duck dish they did at Billy Kwong) all juicy refreshing flavours with a pleasing lick of kitten’s tongue tannin. This hits the Pinot spot. It’s trim, tasty and great to drink.”
Gary Walsh. The Wine Front. Published 21 January2016
Trophy: 2015 Winewise Small Vignerons Awards (Best Pinot Noir of the show) Gold Medals: 2015 Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2015 Boutique Wine Awards 2015 VIC100 2015 Winewise Small Vignerons Awards