Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Merricks Creek 'Close Planted' Pinot Noir 2006 Mornington Peninsula

There are some wines that I drink, and drink .... and drink. This is cos’ I like them. A good wine is the one you like, not the one I tell you is good or the wine some celebrity wine-head says is good.

Merricks Creek Close Planted Pinot Noir 2006 is a wine that I like to drink, and it is a wine that I have drunk quite a bit lately, as too have a lot of the diners I have served recently.

Situated down in the Mornington Peninsula on the Western Port Bay side, Merricks Creek wines have been putting out top drops for some time now,but it is the Close Planted wines that are really sexing it up for them.

The term close planted refers to vines being planted at close proximity such as 1m x 1m; this translates to 10,000 vines per hectare (above right). In modern day viticulture vines are spaced at about 3m x1.5m, or 2,222 per hectare. The closer the vines are translates to the vines competing for nutrients and water in the sub-soil which means a smaller berry.

The smaller the berry means more flavour. Flavour is found in the skin of the berry, so the more berry compared to pulp, or greater skin to fruit ratio, means more intense flavour in the wine. This is what happens with close planted vines, and Merricks Creek Close Planted is a perfect example.

The 2006 Close Planted Pinot has a dirty, rusty red colour which looks like it is fading – this is where you don’t judge a book by its cover. The nose is gorgeous spice; cinnamon and cassia bark. Another whiff gives off fresh rhubarb with clean acid the obvious feel. It is a third sniff that more spice comes out, but this time a little dirtier.

But like all good wine, it all happens in the mouth baby! Clean acid up front with game and fat succulent in the mid palate. Sexy stuff this one. But wait, there’s more, more more more. The palate is long and fresh and rich and complex and by far the best Pinot I have had from the Mornington Peninsula. Period!!

Drink with five spiced quail.
Drink till 2020

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