The 2021 Le Stagiaire Pinot Noir is an equal split of Merricks and Balnarring fruit. The vines are rooted in grey loams and red ferrosols, with an average age of 25 years. After sorting in both the vineyard and winery, fermentation was natural with whole berries and 10% whole-bunch (no temperature control). The fruit spent 22 days on skins, with gentle pump-overs and a small amount of plunging near the end. Eight months élevage (on gross lees) was roughly half/half in 300-litre hogsheads and foudre, with just five per cent new oak. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
This is a flat-out triumph. So crunchy and bright, yet underscored by a depth of supple fruit and the kind of structure that is hard to come by in Mornington Pinot (especially at this price). It's typically fragrant, pretty and silky, with the whole-bunch adding vibrancy. So beautifully woven together with waves of sappy freshness encouraging you to revisit the glass with considerable frequency! Dangerously seductive, and terrific value.
- Pinot Noir
- Mornington Peninsula