Pinot gris has found a good home on the Mornington Peninsula, which reliably turns out some of the nation’s best examples, and Ocean Eight is typically towards the front of the pack. You can see the brilliant 2021 vintage shining radiantly in this, with a prettily fragrant nose of fresh pear, mandarin zest and floral notes, a gently pleasing texture and vibrant freshness sealing the deal.
Super bright and flavourful, this is full of classic notes of pear, coolly ripe Packham and Williams, but it is also subtly aromatic, with lifted white floral, mandarin zest and orange blossom notes. The palate is impeccably balanced, with a sweep of pleasingly generous texture tightened through the finish with a combination of bright acidity and a gentle phenolic chew, making for a particularly moreish drinking experience. This would be great with food, but it’s just so complete on its own.
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 Mornington Peninsula wine region is somewhat of a latecomer, with ongoing commercial production not taking hold until the 1980s. But it has blossomed somewhat since then. Now boasting over 200 vineyards, with 60-odd wineries and over 50 cellar doors, the Mornington Peninsula specialises in chardonnay and pinot noir, while also staking a claim to some of the country’s best pinot gris.