Dexter Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2021
TOD DEXTER GREW UP WITH WINE. A CHILDHOOD FRIENDSHIP WITH ONE OF MELBOURNE’S PREMIUM WINE MERCHANTS, THE CRITTENDEN FAMILY, INTRODUCED HIM TO THE VAST WORLD OF WINE.
It was then no surprise that in 1974 after working a ski season in the US, Tod ended up in the Napa Valley where he spent a seven-year apprenticeship with one of California’s premium family wineries, Cakebread Cellars.
Tod moved home to Australia in January 1987 and after an extensive search, he and his wife Debbie bought a vineyard site at Tuerong on the Mornington Peninsula. Later that year, they planted their first 1.6 hectares of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Tod then joined Brian Stonier at Stonier Wines as head winemaker. Over the next ten years, Tod and Brian grew the company to become one of Australia’s premium producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. During this decade the wines Tod created received many accolades both at home and internationally, and the Dexter vineyard provided Stonier with reserve-grade fruit under the careful eye of Tod and Debbie.
During a formative trip to France in 2000, where they visited the most famous Pinot Noir producers in the world, Tod and Debbie gained a new respect for the concept of terroir and the responsibility to future generations in caring for the land. Tod also had reinforced to him the importance of attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery. This trip was what encouraged Tod and Debbie to take the next step and produce their own wine from the vineyard that they had established and cared for through its formative years. Thus, almost 20 years after the first vines in the Dexter vineyard were planted, Dexter Wines was born.
DEXTER MORNINGTON PENINSULA PINOT NOIR 2021
In the vineyard, a combination of MV6, 777, D5V12 and Pommard clones provide an intricate depiction of the site. Throughout the season, careful vineyard management guides the vines into a harmonious balance where optimal flavour development occurs at appropriate sugar levels. Achieving this allows the production of world class wines.
Upon arrival at the winery, hand-picked fruit is destemmed without crushing and elevated into small open fermenters. Fruit remains un-inoculated for 2-3 days and when fermentation is observed, a cultured yeast is added. Depending on the season, a percentage of fruit may be left as whole bunches and fermented separately to the destemmed fruit and blended back into the finished wine.
During fermentation, must temperatures peak at around 32°C and the cap is plunged or pumped-over up to 2 times per day. 2-3 days after fermentation is complete, the must is gently pressed and transferred into French Oak barriques and puncheons (typically around 20% new, 10% second use and the remainder older) where MLF occurs before winter.
The wine is racked just prior to bottling in January, approximately 10 months after harvest.
ANALYSIS AT HARVEST
Sugar 22.4 – 23.5 Brix, pH 3.30 to 3.62, Acid 6.5g/l to 7.2g/l TA
Harvest date 3rd week of March
Clones D5V12 (40%), Pommard (20 %,) MV6 (40%)
Moderate temperatures throughout a wet spring and into flowering resulted in healthy canopies with slightly lower than average yields. Above average rainfall over the summer due to La Niña was moderated by dry spells and moderate temperatures resulted in slower ripening. High levels of acidity were retained along with great concentration of flavour, fine detail and precision.
Hand-picked fruit was destemmed without crushing and elevated into small open fermenters. The must was left un-inoculated for 2-3 days and when fermentation was observed cultured yeast was added. Fermentation temperatures peaked at around 32°C and during fermentation the cap was plunged up to 2 times per day. 2-3 days after fermentation was complete, the must was gently pressed and transferred into French Oak puncheons (25% new, 15% second use 60% older) where MLF occurred before winter. It was bottled late December 2021, 9 months after harvest.
Alcohol 13.5%, pH 3.59, Acid 6.3 g/l, Sugar dry
Aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, bay leaf and thyme with subtle floral fragrance and hints of oak.
Complex flavours as suggested by the aromas. It has a soft entry with mid palate fruit sweetness and lovely texture. Fine tannins and balanced acidity result in a wine with good texture and length. An elegant example of Dexter Pinot Noir, very similar to the 2019 in quality.