A look at Montalto's new release pinot noirs: Montalto Tuerong Block Pinot Noir 2012; Montalto Main Ridge Block Pinot Noir 2012; Montalto Estate Pinot Noir 2012; Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir 2012

I like what Montalto are doing in terms of their single vineyard pinot noir releases from the Mornington Peninsula region.  In some respects it is brave, since blends allow for the nuances of particular vineyards to be covered up and filled in, in the perpetual quest to achieve attractive wine.  Single vineyard wines are conversely by nature a chancier affair, since while the result might be compelling, it risks not being of interest.  But when it works, it works, and with regard to Montalto's 2012 pinot noir releases, I found in particular Montalto Merricks Block Pinot Noir 2012, reviewed here, to be an excellent single vineyard offering.  In this note, I look at the other Montalto 2012 vintage pinot noir releases which present an interesting excursion through the terroirs of the Mornington Peninsula.

Montalto Tuerong Block Pinot Noir 2012
The "Tuerong Block" is a single vineyard situated to the east of Mt Martha at an altitude of 30 metres, and is planted to the MV6 pinot noir clone.  The resulting wine is what I would describe as a fairly typical pinot noir style for Melbourne's surrounds, with aromatics of sappy stems and cherry.  The palate is spicy, with medium acid, cherry characters and a medium length finish.  Overall, this is a soundly made wine that is balanced in terms of expression of fruit and has some nice length, with its slightly warmer climate producing a wine of somewhat self explanatory character.  Good

Abv: 13.8%
Price: $65
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.montalto.com.au/wine
Tasted: 2013

Montalto Main Ridge Block Pinot Noir 2012
The Main Ridge block is situated at a cooler 150 to 170 metres of altitude, and this immediately shows itself in the sensitive pinot noir grapes (in this case from the D5V12 clone).  Its aromatics are quite peppery, with notes of twigs, dry wood, hay and some cherry for the curiously inclined.  The palate has short to medium delicate length, and flavours of cherry and twigs come through.  This is quite a coiled wine in terms of expression and is of a good quality due if nothing else due to the interest in seeing site characters translate so clearly into the wine.  Good

Abv: 13.1%
Price: $65
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.montalto.com.au/wine
Tasted: 2013

Montalto Estate Pinot Noir 2012
This wine immediately reminded of the Main Ridge block single vineyard release, which proved to be a correct observation, since it is a blend of pinot noir from six vineyards across Main Ridge, Red Hill, Merricks and Tuerong, mostly from Main Ridge and Red Hill.  It has aromatics of twigs, cherry and hay.  The palate reminds of thyme, cherry and spice, and there is medium length.  Overall, a good quality wine that is balanced if safe.  Good

Abv: 13.6%
Price: $48
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.montalto.com.au/wine
Tasted: 2013

Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir 2012
This wine is a blend of pinot noir from across the Mornington Peninsula.  It presents as the simplest of Montalto's 2012 pinot noir offerings, but it is not without enjoyment and its fleshy character is quite endearing.  The wine has aromatics of pepper, cherry and twigs, with more obviously bright fruit.   On the palate there is some cherry, a bit of attractive flesh and length, with some strawberry and neutral cherry characters.  Perfectly pleasant current drinking.  Acceptable to Good

Abv: 13%
Price: $30
Source: sample
Vendors: Check http://www.wine-searcher.com/
Website: http://www.montalto.com.au/wine
Tasted: 2013

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