Established in 1982 by Richard and Jill McIntyre, Moorooduc Estate was one of the early pioneers of the Mornington Peninsula.From the very beginning the focus has been on high quality production, with a hands-on approach and minimal use of chemicals in the vineyards, and minimum intervention in the winery. The varietal focus has always been on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and interpreted with a Burgundian sensibility.
From a small 20 tonne winery established in 1987, Moorooduc now crushes over 75 tonnes in its rammed earth winery and draws fruit from not only the home McIntyre Vineyard but also the Robinson, Garden and Osborn Vineyards nearby. Individual vineyard wines are produced from the first three of these, with the key objective being to elucidate the influence of each site’s particular terroir.
From his early endeavours, Richard McIntyre became one of the pioneers of wild-yeast fermentation in Australia and it has been de-rigueur at Moorooduc for many years. Sulphur use is carefully controlled, new oak is used sensitively and the white wines receive only minimal fining and filtration. The red wines are all bottled completely unfined and unfiltered.
For many years now, wines from Moorooduc Estate have been routinely included in James Halliday’s selection of the best varietal examples, not only of the Mornington Peninsula, but of all of Australia. With Jill and Richard’s daughter Kate McIntyre MW now engaged full-time at Moorooduc, the journey continues with a skins-ferment Pinot Gris and some whole-bunch fermentation of Pinot Noir lighting the path.
McIntyre Vineyard The original McIntyre Vineyard is an elevated site, about 80 metres above sea level, with a gentle north to north-westerly facing slope and was first planted in 1983 to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (today there is also a small plot of Shiraz). Over the years a range of clones has been planted or grafted on to the original vines, including Pinot Noir clones MV6, 115, 114, 777, 667, Abel and Pommard.
Robinson Vineyard The Robinson Vineyard is owned by Moorooduc’s viticulturalist of many years, Hugh Robinson and is just a few kilometres south at Tuerong. The two Moorooduc individual vineyard wines are sourced from specific parcels of high quality clones of Chardonnay (Dijon 95 and 96) and Pinot Noir (MV6, 667 and 777).
Garden Vineyard The Garden Vineyard is just a stone’s throw from the McIntyre vineyard and is planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The ‘house block’ Pinot Noir is a small north facing slope. The ‘back block’ is west facing (Pinot Noir) and south-west facing (Pinot Gris). Here the clay subsoil is denser and so the vines lower in vigour as a result.
Osborn Vineyard The Osborn Vineyard, owned by the Osborn family, is a north-facing, relatively productive mature vineyard established in the late 1980s. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from here form the basis of the Devil Bend Creek wines, while Pinot Gris is blended with that from the Garden Vineyard to create the Moorooduc Pinot Gris.
WINE NOTES AND REVIEWS
2018 Devil Bend Creek Chardonnay
The fruit for this wine comes predominantly from the Osborn vineyard, and we use low intervention wine-making, including wild yeast fermentation in old oak barrels, to celebrate the flavours we achieve in the Moorooduc ‘subregion’ of the Mornington Peninsula, unencumbered by new oak.
'Bright lemon colour with aromas of lemon pith, beeswax and salted caramel. On the palate the wine is fresh and bright, with citrus fruit and nutty honey nougat flavours. Full-bodied yet elegant, with lovely length and crunchy natural acidity, that leaves your palate begging for more.' Kate McIntyre MW.
2018 Devil Bend Creek Pinot Gris
The fruit for this wine comes predominantly from the Osborn vineyard, and we use low intervention wine-making, including wild yeast fermentation. Aged mostly in old oak barrels with a small portion fermented and aged in stainless steel for blending with the barrel fermented portion.
2018 Devil Bend Creek Pinot Noir
Hand harvested and 100% destemmed this wine is made using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and 10 months aging in older French Oak ensures good varietal expression.
'A delicious, dark fruited pinot noir. Purple garnet in colour with a rich perfume of violets and dark ripe cherries. A touch of exotic pomegranate molasses and Mediterranean spice adds complexity to the nose, and follows through on the palate. Plush and juicy on the palate, with tangy orange notes and firm but silky tannins.' Kate McIntyre MW.
2015 Pinot Gris
The fruit from this wine comes from two Moorooduc vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula – the Garden Vineyard and the Osborn Vineyard.
'From the Garden and Osborn Vineyards, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented in used French oak. The colour pick-up from the barrel fermentation, and time in bottle, is bright, setting the scene for a wine totally deserving the gris label, and Alsace-like in its mouthfeel and depth of ripe flavours. The Mornington Peninsula is arguably the premier region in Aus for pinot gris. Drink by 2023.' 95 points, James Halliday, February 2017.
2017 Pinot Gris On Skins
100% Pinot Gris from the Osborn Vineyard, hand-picked, de-stemmed and wild-yeast fermented on skins. After a 19 day cuvaison, the wine is pressed to French oak barrels (2-3 years old) and matured on lees for 10 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
‘Deep salmon pink in colour with a savoury nose of wild herbs, dried rose petals, lavender and strawberry. On the palate, the wine is textural, with firm, fine-grained tannins, some wild strawberry fruit and savoury meaty flavours. Good length and structure on the finish. Drink cool but not chilled to best enjoy the unique floral aromas and tannic texture and enjoy with a charcuterie platter, or pasta with tomato passata.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
100% Chardonnay predominantly from the McIntyre Vineyard with a small portion from the Robinson Vineyard. Hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed, followed by wild-yeast ferment in French oak barriques (25% new) and natural malolactic. Matured on lees in barrel for 10 months.
‘Pale gold in colour with a rich, savoury nose of white nectarine, cashew nuts, brine, rillettes, dill and cedar notes. On the palate the wine is textural with mealy notes and grapefruit freshness and a long finish with salty almond notes. A lovely, tangy wine with elegant phenolics. The perfect match to freshly cooked fish and chips on the beach, or pan seared scallops in butter and sage.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2016 Chardonnay Robinson Vineyard
100% Chardonnay from the Robinson Vineyard. Hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed, followed by wild-yeast ferment in French oak barriques (18% new). No malolactic. Matured on lees in barrel for 8 months. Dijon clones 95 and 96 from the Robinson Vineyard, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented in French oak (18% new).
‘This wine is made from specially selected fruit from Hugh and Isabelle Robinson’s vineyard on the Old Moorooduc Road, celebrating the individual character of this special site. Pale gold with elegant aromas of Meyer lemon, aniseed, white nectarines and a hint of nutmeg spice. Fresh and tangy, with lemon fruit, peach skin and a touch of seaspray on the palate. Lovely length and texture on the finish.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2016 Chardonnay The Moorooduc McIntyre Vineyard
100% Chardonnay from the McIntyre Vineyard. Hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed, followed by wild-yeast ferment in French oak barriques (20% new) and natural malolactic. Matured on lees in barrel for 10 months. From the original planting ('83) at Derril Road, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented in French oak (20% new), full malo.
‘This wine represents the pinnacle of style and quality of Moorooduc Estate ‘McIntyre Vineyard’ chardonnay. A result of a stringent fruit selection from our oldest chardonnay vines this wine expresses the unique characters of this vineyard site. Pale lemon gold in colour with a tightly wound nose of lemon rind, shortbread, salted licorice, white nectarine, jasmine and a hint of orange blossom. On the palate the complexity continues in a lovely combination of elegance and power. Fine yet concentrated and long with lovely weight and texture, this is a delightful expression of the McIntyre Vineyard. Enjoy young with freshly shucked oysters, pan seared whiting or gently steamed lobster. Or cellar for 8-12 years to see the exciting evolution of this beautiful wine.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2016 Pinot Noir
Five clones (MV6, 777, 667, Pommard and Abel), hand-picked, 18% whole bunches, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured in French oak (20% new).
‘Ruby red with strawberry, raspberry and red and black cherry fruit. Also hints of star anise, cloves and soy. On the palate the wine shows complex savoury fruit and spice and is long, textural and juicy. Bright, young fruit now will match well with crispy duck breast or a piece of wagyu beef with a wild mushroom sauce. Or cellar for five to eight years to achieve softness and savoury notes and extra complexity.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2017 Pinot Noir Robinson Vineyard
Three clones (MV6, 777 and 667), hand-picked, destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured in French oak (20% new).
‘This wine is made from specially selected fruit from Hugh and Isabelle Robinson’s vineyard on the Old Moorooduc Road. Our single vineyard Estate wines celebrate the individual character of certain special sites around the Moorooduc area. Bright garnet, refreshing aromas of tangy sour red cherries and pomegranate, rhubarb, red rose petals and violets. On the palate red cherries and wild raspberries flood the tongue. Tangy acidity, silky, yet firm tannins and a long, pure finish.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2016 Pinot Noir Garden Vineyard
100% Pinot Noir from the Garden Vineyard. Hand-picked, with 70% whole bunches included in the ferment. After a 20 day cuvaison, the wine is pressed to French oak barrels (25% new) and matured on lees for 17 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
‘This 2016 pinot noir is a continuation of the whole bunch ferment story at Moorooduc Estate. The Garden Vineyard, across the hill from us, is owned by the McFall family and has been leased and run by Moorooduc Estate for over ten years. Fruit was hand picked and whole bunches placed directly into the fermenter. The stems were ripe and so added savouriness and structure. Bright garnet in colour, the nose displays beautifully integrated aromas from the whole bunch fermentation. Campari and orange rind combine with roasted meat juices, chopped sage, thyme and rosemary, and some pomegranate tang. We experience more Campari, pomegranate and orange on the palate. The wine has firm and fine tannins, lovely balance and length. Delicious!’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2017 Pinot Noir The Moorooduc McIntyre Vineyard
Seven clones (MV6, 115, 114, 777, 667, Abel and Pommard), hand-picked, destemmed, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured in French oak (21% new).
‘This single vineyard wine from our home vineyard in Derril Road is further evidence of what our fine vineyard site and mature vines can produce in a really good year. It includes some wine from interesting clones grafted onto our old Cabernet vines (planted in 1983). Deep garnet with a savoury, complex nose. Dark black macerated cherries, roasted meat juices, soy and star anise. Subtle sandalwood, rosemary and sage, blood orange and cloves. On the palate, bright, dark cherry fruit, with a hint of blood orange, thyme and rosemary, savoury, meaty, soy, roast mushroom and truffle. Long and firmly structured but elegant.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2016 McIntyre Shiraz
Hand-picked, 100% whole bunches, wild yeast open-fermented, 18 days maceration, matured in French oak (25% new) new for 17 months.
‘Bright, dark ruby colour with purple reflections. On the nose there is ripe black plum fruit, roast beef richness and black pepper spice with a touch of licorice. On the palate the wine shows elegant red fruit and black pepper spice. Fine grained savoury tannins with fresh, tangy red berry acid and long, spicy fruit on the finish.’ Kate McIntyre MW.
2014 McIntyre Chardonnay
A single vineyard wine from the oldest chardonnay vines grown in tthe McIntyre vineyard on the estate. All fruit is handnarvested and whole bunch pressed before 100% indigenous fermentation in French oak barrles (25% new). 100% Natural maloloactic fermentation in barrel with 10 months on lees.
'The deeper, though still bright, colour of this chardonnay sends a very accurate message of grilled cashew, fig, white peach and nectarine arriving all at once on the palate. Hedonism lives. Drink by 2025' 96 points, James Halliday, March 2016.
2014 Garden Vineyard Pinot Noir
Hand harvested from the Garden Vineyard on the McFaul farm across the hill. Yields of less than 2t/acre and 100% whole bunch fermented using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. Elevage in French oak with 25% new for 15 months with 1 racking. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
'Hand-picked MV6 clone, 100% whole bunches, wild yeast open-fermented, 19-21 days on skins, matured for 16 months in French oak (20-25% new). Deeply coloured, and equally deeply fruited on its bouquet and palate alike reflecting the small berries of the vintage. The plum and dark cherry fruit flavours roll around the mouth seeking to find all the tastebuds, and do so. This is still an infant, and one sure to prosper with more bottle age. Drink by 2029.' 94 points, James Halliday, June 2016.
2014 Robinson Pinot Noir
Hand harvested from the Robinson’s vineyard on the Old Moorooduc Rd. Yields of less than 2t/acre with 20% whole bunch fermented using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. Elevage in French oak with 25% new for 15 months with 1 racking. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
'Always the pretty one of the single vineyard pinots, this wine is bright ruby red, with a crunchy red cherry nose. Complexing notes of marzipan and lifted perfume of Moroccan pink rosebuds. On the palate the wine is fresh and spicy – hints of schezuan pepper, tangy red cherry and ferrous minerality are wrapped up in a silky texture and long finish. Drink by 2028.' 95 points, James Halliday, March 2016.
2013 McIntyre Pinot Noir (James Halliday top 100 wines of 2015)
Hand harvested from the Estate vineyard on Derril Rd. Yields of less than 2t/acre with 20% whole bunch fermented using only indigenous yeasts. Extended maceration and natural malolactic fermentation in barrel. Elevage in French oak with 25% new for 15 months with 1 racking. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.
'Deep, bright colour, the bouquet with a haunting array of aromas ranging through spiced plums to hints of forest floor and truffles, the palate nonchalantly picking up the thread and amplifying it. This has far more weight and vinosity than most from the region, with even greater things will come over the next 10 years. Drink by 2028.' 97 points, James Halliday, September 2015.