Chris Dilworth and Loique Allain have carefully grown their small-batch label since 2017, sourcing select parcels across a raft of varieties from the Macedon Ranges. This take on pinot gris employs judicious skin contact to pull out a blush of rosy colour while knitting in spice and blood orange over classic pear notes, texture and grip completing the picture.
An orangey pink from 24 hours pre-ferment skin contact, this had half the juice fermented in old oak and half in tank. Notes of corella pear, cool ripeness stone fruit, blood orange, citrus peel, musk and cinnamon feature on a nose that manages to be expressive but restrained at the same time. That’s somewhat true of the palate, too, with a plump of texture cleaned up on a mouthfeel that leans both on gently grippy grape-skin tannin and fine acidity.
Themes of this wine
Whether you call it pinot gris or pinot grigio, the variety has become an international star, pushing even sauvignon blanc out of the spotlight for those wanting a crisp, quaffable white without all the overt fruitiness. But the grape is much more versatile than that, making wines that can be dry and mineral or richly sweet and spicy, as well as skin-contact examples that are grippy and fragrant with red fruits and spices.
The skins hold the colouring matter and lots of tannin. Leave them in contact with the juice/wine and you’ll extract those elements. Most conventional white wine sees no skin contact, rosé a little bit to get a blush, and red wine plenty to get the colour and structure. Skin-contact whites… well, they have some skin contact. Yep. More colour, more tannin and a different flavour profile.
Melbourne is well served with top wine regions, with the Yarra, Mornington, Geelong and Macedon all about an hour from the city. All are cool climate, but Macedon takes the prize for being the coolest, with some touting it as the best territory for chardonnay and pinot noir in the country. Evidence of that potential, aside from some glittering exceptions, haven’t exactly been crowding wine store shelves over the years, but much has changed, and there’s a dynamic community ensuring that potential is being tapped in exciting ways.