Ten Minutes By Tractor 2021 Mornington Peninsula Pinot Gris
A short drive out of the hustle and bustle of Melbourne city and you’ll find yourself transported to the bliss and tranquillity of Mornington’s truly unique wine region. Ten Minutes By Tractor needs to be on your list of cellar doors to visit. It’s all class. Superbly designed, focused and comfortable with educated staff ready to run you through a swathe of wines. Surprisingly, a stand out for mine was the pinot gris. Often considered ‘safe’ or ‘boring’ amongst the wine worlds’ elite, this pinot gris is precise, generous and balanced. It offers your classic ripe pear and soft spice characteristics with hints of fresh ginger but its partial whole bunch press and malolactic fermentation in older oak ensures layers of bready, mealiness on the nose and a fresh mineral palate bursting with botanicals that linger. Please check out this immaculate cellar door next time you find yourself in this part of the world.
Pair with: Spaghetti with chilli prawns and burnt butter sauce.
2021 Varney Grenache 13.8%
McLaren Vale, South Australia RRP $35
Grenache is a red wine excitement machine, with its best examples from McLaren Vale (generally from the Blewitt Springs district). A recent trip confirmed my views, with sensational instances from SC Pannell, Yangarra, Thistledown and Bekkers.
Varney provided yet another example with their 2021 Grenache. This young wine has a bright cherry colour, then comes a riot of floral roses, raspberry, grapefruit notes, and sweet spices. The palate resounds with rampant fresh savoury deliciousness and silky texture. I had difficulty moving to taste their next wine without recalling the insane appeal of this one. My limited budget insisted three bottles came back to Melbourne with me. The wine is from old bush vines and made with flair using a variety of techniques. While ridiculously vivid drinking already, it will merrily sleep in a cupboard for a few years.
The only downside is that you will need to seek online suppliers – or of course the Varney winery website!
Conclusion – Irresistibly fresh, I can see any duck dish providing a super match. Or a charcuterie platter, or a cassoulet, or just experiment.