2022 MDI Picolit Murray Darling

Skin-contact picolit is no common thing in this country, but the results are stunning, with citrus, stone fruit and quince overlaid with spices.

Wines We Love

Kevin McCarthy’s MDI range is a celebration of Italian varieties and the abundant sunshine of the Murray Darling region. It’s also a range that lets him venture deep with skin contact on white grapes.

Tasting note

Picolit is an indigenous variety from Friuli in Italy’s north-east, and it’s rare to see it here. An old hand at skin contact on Friulian white grapes, McCarthy gave this 22 days on skins before some time in older oak. That’s given it an old gold hue, with a dusting of warm spices over the quince, orange marmalade, yellow plum and roasted peach notes. It’s dry but kind of rich, with a saline tug and hemming of skin tannin giving it the right amount of tension.

Themes of this wine

Pinot Blanc/Bianco

A genetic mutation of pinot noir, pinot blanc likely evolved in Burgundy, then migrated to Alsace and Champagne, where it is still allowed to be used, though it’s barely present in vineyards. Pinot blanc is still nominally allowed in Burgundy, but, again, there are only vestiges of it there. It is in Alsace that the grape has the greatest identity. Not an overly intense or aromatic variety, it tends to exhibit aromas of white pear, golden apple and white florals. The palate can be simple and light-bodied or taken to quite full richness, such as you might see in Friulian wines in Italy’s north-east.


Picolit is a relatively rare grape even in its native Italian region of Friuli–Venezia Giulia, with less than 130 hectares planted. It is a low yielding vine and retains acidity well. It is often dried to make passito-style sweet wines.

Murray Darling

The Murray Darling wine region is Australia’s third largest wine region, with Mildura as its key town. The region flanks the banks of the Murray, meaning that that region spills into both New South Wales and Victoria. It is a region known for bulk wine, with ample sunshine and irrigation bringing high yields of grapes to reliable ripeness with minimal disease issues. In recent times, a quality push has seen some growers reduce yields and focus on climate-apt varieties, with those of Southern Italy a main feature.

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