Pinot gris is a mutation of pinot noir, so no surprise there is a natural kinship when combined, with Jayden Ong celebrating the point where they meet. Flush with spice, orange peel and wild forest berries, there’s a suppleness and texture that welcomes a chill.
A blend of related grapes, one red (pinot noir) and the other somewhere in between (pinot gris), this is a bright expression but one that is also savoury. Twiggy, spicy notes, a little Campari, cherry, wild berries, autumnal leafy characters and cinnamon all appear, with a suppleness to the palate that suggest this could take a chill, but not a long home-fridge four-degree takedown, rather just enough to enliven and soften.
Themes of this wine
Pinot noir is one of the wine world’s most revered grapes. Notoriously fickle to grow and make, it makes what many see as the pinnacle of red wine in France’s Burgundy, but it’s also found many happy homes around the world, and none more so than in Australia across our cooler viticultural regions.
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.