08-12-2018 ~ 2 Comments

Continued Mornington exploration: Crittenden Estate – Peninsula Pinot Noir 2016

Awhile back I’d written about an oddity that piqued my curiosity which was produced by Crittenden Estate on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. I’m not sure if that wine is a one-off, but it’s definitely a great deal different than what you normally find from Mornington, a region that has come to establish itself as one of the forces to be reckoned with in terms of high-quality Aussie Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Haven’t maybe heard of Mornington where you live? Don’t feel like the hispters have one-upped you yet again as, despite being immersed in wine type things, I only know about this region due to following British wine media quite intently as it’s there in the UK that you might see a mention of the region or more importantly, a few scant bottles. Otherwise, everyone in Melbourne (a mere hour away) sucks down pretty much everything that the 50 or so cellars produce.

The secret to their rising fame is unsurprisingly the cooler temperatures they have due to being on a rather narrow peninsula that juts into the ocean. Days filled with direct ocean influence allow the possibility to grow the fickle grape, Pinot Noir and produce lovely, subtle bottles that are very much worth your while in case you (like me) find those Burgundy bottles a wee bit hard on the wallet.

Do the wines taste like Burgundy? No, of course not but they offer up a fresh, lower alcohol take on Pinot Noir that’s rarely the case in New World regions and yes, I’m glaring at you, California where people grow Pinot in Zinfandel regions. Mornington wines are perhaps similar to what you find in New Zealand but even that’s a rather large generalization as the Kiwis will show a massive difference between the Pinots of Wairarapa on the North Island and Central Otago on the South Island.

This particular bottle of Crittenden is similar to the handful of others I’ve tasted from the region and most importantly, it’s actually available in Europe. If in the US, I don’t know what to tell you other than the fact there’s more to Australian wine than I ever thought possible being from California where god-awful Yellowtail still dominates. If you find the opportunity to get at these wines, by all means take it.

Peninsula Pinot Noir 2016
Crunchy red cranberries, sour cherry, light touch of red licorice, soft spice, rosemary, garrigue, bit of wet forest floor. Medium plus acidity, wealth of red fruit on the palate, balanced and crisp, nearly-long finish. Very open, linear, and wonderfully accessible.
100% Pinot Noir 13.2% 25€
** 90