Hailing from the Kooyong Vineyard in Australia’s Mornington Peninsula, this Massale 2019 Pinot Noir is an impressive wine at a bargain price point, £19 a bottle! When considering the top Pinot Noir producing regions in the world, Australia probably isn’t the first one that comes to mind. However, the “B-word” (aka Burgundy) is being used more and more to describe the Mornington Peninsula, as this cool-climate, maritime region is producing some stellar Pinot Noirs.
I always love exploring the meaning behind a wine’s name, and ‘massale’ is definitely eye-catching. Basically, the term Selection Massale is a more traditional way of propagating a vineyard. Rather than using single-clone cuttings from a nursery, cuttings are taken from well-established, old vines, and replanted on the same estate. This method creates more diversity within the vineyard. Older clones that have already proven their ability to thrive in the vineyard continue to do so via a second generation of vines.
This wine is produced by the Port Phillip Estate‘s Kooyong Vineyard. The Pinot Noir grapes are sourced from the sustainably farmed Tuerong and Balnarring vineyards within the estate. Additionally, the estate’s winemaking philosophy embraces low-intervention techniques. The grapes were hand-harvested and underwent spontaneous primary fermentation relying on ambient yeasts. Malolactic fermentation also occurred naturally. The wine then matured for 10 months in French oak barriques, puncheons (5% new) and large foudre. Finally, the wine was bottled without fining or filtration, which is surprising because it has incredible clarity!
While pouring the wine, aromas of ripe, red summer strawberries, cherries and juicy red plums caught my attention, along with notes of fresh violets and toasty oak. I kept thinking that if the wine smells this amazing, then hopefully it will taste just as good too!
Thankfully, the wine lived up to its nose! This is a ‘chewy’ Pinot Noir. Drinking this medium-bodied wine is like biting into juicy, ripe red summer berries just when they’re about to be harvested. There’s a savoury, rounded mouthfeel followed by vibrant acidity that bursts on the mid-palate and lingers throughout a long, flavourful finish. The toasty note from the oak ageing imparts just the right amount of tannin for structure and added complexity. This is a beautifully balanced Pinot Noir from Australia and I highly recommend buying a bottle.
I was so happy to have a bit of Baron Bigod cheese on hand when tasting this Massale 2019 Pinot Noir. Baron Bigod is a rich, buttery cheese, similar in style to a Brie de Meaux. To complement the cheese, I needed a wine with great acidity, vibrant flavours and aromas/flavours that pair well with the rustic earthy, mushroom notes of this cheese. The Massale 2019 Pinot Noir ticks all the boxes! Honestly, this is a lovely pairing and I think you’ll agree!
Producer: Port Phillip Estate
Region: Mornington Peninsula
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Closure: Screw Cap
Colour: Ruby Red
Alcohol: 13.5% – Medium
Red Fruit: Red cherry, red strawberry, red plum and cranberry
Earth: black tea and forest floor notes
Oak: toasty, charred wood notes
Other: subtle anise spice
Drinking Window: Drink now or hold for 2-3 years