Mike Aylward has made a name for himself for both pinot gris and pinot noir, but chardonnay is arguably his strongest suit, making wines from the linear to the textural, but always with a defining line of vibrant acidity. With a bit more flesh on its bones than some previous ‘Verve’ bottlings, this is laden with stone fruit and grapefruit notes, with textural flex on the palate that is straightened by trademark freshness.
A fairly full nose of yellow nectarine, white peach, lemon and grapefruit pith accented with mealy notes, with oak present but not an overt feature. This is bright and zippy, as you might expect a wine wearing the tag “verve”, but there’s ample flavour here, too, with richness and a textural side that gives it a little pleasing heft – a sign of the warmer vintage, no doubt – but in a balanced and engaging way, with vibrant acidity teasing out those flavours through a long finish.
With an explosion of interest over the last few decades, chardonnay is now the world’s most planted white grape. With its ability to grow in varied conditions and make everything from sparkling wine, to lean and mineral whites, to full-bodied textural expressions, it is perhaps no surprise to see Burgundy’s key white grape become so dominant.
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.
Checkout our Mornington Peninsula Region Guide, here.