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Montalto has been flying the flag for Mornington Peninsula since 1998, and flying it well.
The Pennon Hill Chardonnay is a regional blend that is meant to act as an entry point into the Monatlato ranges.
The combination of the fantastic conditions thrown up by Mother Nature in 2015 and Simon Black’s deft winemaking hand has resulted in a cracking example of cool-climate Chardonnay and one that Black thinks is “possibly the best Pennon Chardonnay we’ve made.”
Campbell Mattinson gave it an excellent 93 points, while in his glowing 92 point review Andrew Graham commented, “Real craftsmanship here… the detail here would shame many super premium releases.”
This is one of those ‘no-brainer’ wines perfect for those who want the feel the joy of drinking premium Chardonnay without busting the bank.
What It Tastes Like
Smells of grapefruit and lightly toasted nuts, struck flint and wet river stones. The mouthfeel is excellent. Long and elegant steams of cool, fresh summer fruits, citrus and peaches making up the main portions of flavour. This is a wine for the true Chardonnay fans.
93 points. “Goals. Wine. Straight through the centre.
Complex, juicy, flavoursome and persistent. Delicious. Chardonnay to the nth degree. White peach, struck matches, cedar spice and the tang of citrus. It’s sunny but crisp. It’s not a ‘big’ chardonnay but nor is it lean. It’s in the sweet spot. No hesitation on this one.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
92 points “Montalto Pennon Hill Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2015 Another wine to emphasise the quality of the 2015 Mornington Peninsula vintage. Notably, Chardonnay yields in 2015 at Montalto were just 1.2T/acre which, is abysmal. Heck, Grand Cru Burgundy yields can be higher than that (circa 2.1T/acre)! Not surprising, though, given that 2014 crops were smaller again (and one season’s yield directly influences those of the following year).
According to the Montalto team, the 15s whites have ‘a little more flesh than 2014’, and some makers think this will be more of a red vintage than white. Time will tell… Montalto Pennon Hill Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2015
Meanwhile, this Pennon Hill Chardonnay is effectively the entry level Montalto Chard, yet serious wine for $28. Sourced from the south facing Pennon Hill vineyard, supplemented with fruit from cooler plots around Red Hill. Aim is for minimal oak influence, and it hasn’t hurt this wine. Golden straw, there is some sulphides funk, leesy fetta, white flowers and background white peach on the nose. Despite the fact it saw no new oak, this still has a lovely creamy fullness to the palate (clever lees work) and white peach followed by proper grapefruity acidity (smartly handled malo) before decent length.
Real craftsmanship here. An easy start to Mornington Chard, yet made with care. Sure, it’s not got the complexity of more expensive single vineyard wines, but the detail here would shame many super premium releases.”
Would I buy it? Sure would, especially for the dollars.
- Andrew Graham (Oz Wine Review)
Fabulous citrus and pithy grapefruit flavours go beautifully with the floral notes. It’s a savoury, nutty, food friendly wine. Punches well above its weight in our view and possibly the best Pennon Chardonnay we’ve made.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Montalto are one of the quiet achievers of the Mornington Peninsula. Under the guidence of gun winemaker Simon Black they have amassed an enviable portfolio of vineyards and and wines from across the region. With the obvious focus being on Burgundian varieties, there are plenty of surprises to be had in the Montalto range including a cracking cool-climate Shiraz and some interesting aromatic whites and Rose.
The Mornington Peninsula has become a go-to destination for lovers of modern Australian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Mornington’s perfect climatic conditions for producing these varieties has seen it become, in only a relatively short time, one of the premier regions for these varieties in the country. The wines are beautiful. The best examples are wines which show a restrained power. Both intensity and elegance. It’s a region which will continue to blossom and mature for many years to come.
Australian Chardonnay is a seductive variety that comes in all shapes and sizes. From the toasty and voluptuous to the lean, flinty and minerally, there is a Chardonnay out there to suit everyone. Australia’s developing prowess with this variety has been marked by the international community with wine writers such as Jancis Robinson marvelling at the outstanding value to be had right across the country. The prestige brands of Margaret River offer wines of deep flavour and power, often crafting fuller-figured Chardonnay of outstanding quality. The cooler-climate wines from the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the like are more focused and linear, building complexity around a backbone of pristine acidity. Whatever your preference, there is an Australian Chardonnay to enchant all comers.
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