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Those with a penchant for Pinot Noir and Mornington Peninsula will most likely have had a wine by Tod Dexter. It may have been under the Stonier label, it may have been under Yabby Lake; regardless, it would have been memorable. Dexter is his own. He and wife Debbie planted this east-west vineyard in Merricks back in 1987 and have been making their own wines from it for over a decade. The current release of Pinot Noir is lovely. Tod compares it to the excellent 2012 and 2013 vintages, though perhaps with a little more elegance. Treat yourself to a bottle of this and discover the beauty of the Peninsula, this is magic stuff.
What it Tastes Like
"Ever stylish, perfumed Pinot Noir from the Tracy Island vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula. Raspberry and squishy strawberries, subtle spice and earthiness, a perfume of rose and basil. Medium bodied, silky and fine, kind of succulent, but with a gentle drag of fine grained tannin giving structure and pushing out the length. Red drapes on a fine firm frame. Finish has a subtle herbal infusion, in with the pretty red fruits. Just lovely, as ever." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
94 points "Ever stylish, perfumed Pinot Noir from the Tracy Island vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula. Raspberry and squishy strawberries, subtle spice and earthiness, a perfume of rose and basil. Medium bodied, silky and fine, kind of succulent, but with a gentle drag of fine grained tannin giving structure and pushing out the length. Red drapes on a fine firm frame. Finish has a subtle herbal infusion, in with the pretty red fruits. Just lovely, as ever." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
Vintage Notes: After a winter of moderate rain and temperatures the vines moved steadily to flowering some 4-5 days earlier than average. Rainfall throughout the growing season was lower than average and there were no extended heat events. The ripening period resulted in the grapes maturing smoothly to sugar and flavour ripeness. Harvest was 7-9 days earlier than the average of recent seasons, even with a larger than average crop load. In summary the season has produced ripeness early but with bright fruit flavours, nice structure and good acid balance. Winemaking: Hand-picked fruit was destemmed without crushing and elevated into small open fermenters. The must was left un-inoculated for 2-3 days and when fermentation was observed cultured yeast was added. There were no whole bunches used this vintage. Fermentation temperatures peaked at around 32°C and during fermentation the cap was plunged up to 2 times per day. 2-3 days after fermentation was complete, the must was gently pressed and transferred into French Oak bariques and puncheons (23% New, 27% second use and the remainder older) where MLF occurred before winter. The wine was racked once in the spring and put back to the same barrels for further ageing. It was bottled late December 2016, 8 months after harvest.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2024
About the Producer
Tod and Debbie Dexter planted their vineyard in Merricks, Mornington Peninsular in 1987. After a jaunt to Burgundy in 2000, Tod decided he wanted something more. After helping establish the formidable reputation of Stonier wines with Brian Stonier, and a time with Mornington icon Yabby Lake, at the age of 50, his own project, Dexter wines, came to be. The wines have received consistent critical acclaim and remain to this day one of the Peninsular’s most loved labels by those who seek the best Pinot and Chardonnay in the region.
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.
No variety captures the hearts and minds of the wine lover quite like Pinot Noir. It’s the unicorn of many a winemaker. Notoriously fickle to grow, this delicate red variety can deliver a kaleidoscope of flavours and aromas, from the bright and floral to the moody and mysterious and everything in between. The cooler regions of Australia are where Pinot Noir is most at home. Look to Tasmania and Victoria for the best examples, with some quality wines beginning to show from the Great Southern and from the cooler parts of NSW. Falling in love with Pinot Noir can be a life long affair, beware the charms of this most enchanting of grapes.
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