Musk Creek Vineyard Pinot Gris 2018
A slow avalanche of honey, great depth and viscosity, finishes long and dry and poised. Musk Creek is a late ripening vineyard influenced by the ocean and steep, spring fed aspect. The wind blows the cloud away to reveal an autumn of cold sunshine. This terroir restrains, yet supports, ripening until the end of autumn thus grapes accumulate honey, red berry, even forest floor character.
LOOKS LIKE... Lustrous green gold
SMELLS LIKE... Raspberry, honey, the earth
DRINK WITH... Roast pheasant, mushroom pâté and freshwater river fish
CELLAR UNTIL... 2025
Wines like Musk Creek Pinot Gris beat their own path; bunches presented as a relaxed cluster of tiny, waxy, hot pink berries at harvest on the 23rd and 27th March, complete with high sugar and acid content.
The press cycle is a long process beginning with loading whole bunches and over 12 hours gently extracting all the desirable attributes of these marvellous grapes. The juices are racked and then allowed to begin their own ferment without any sulphur protection.
Three weeks later we re-inoculated with a sparkling yeast to assist the wine to fully finish the ferment without marring the nose with any undesireable smells that can arise from old grumpy yeast. There was a rear guard action with the malolactic acid bacteria stalling the sugar ferment, inexplicable but common in unsulphured fermentations. Slowly as the two tanks laboured through their sugars, we kept mixing those yeast lees, shaking them alive, ultimately converting all to alcohol and delightful flavours. Bottled in January 2019.
Musk Creek vineyard is revered for Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Perched atop Main Ridge with an elevation of 210 metres overlooking Westernport Bay and heads. The soil is cold clay moistened by springs that affect the whole slope. Persistent cool breeze from Bass Strait protect the delicate, ethereal aromas of Pinot. Musk Creek, planted in 1994, has 2 hectares each of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and half a hectare each of Moscato Rosa and Chardonnay. The rich soil and elevation delay ripening, which can be dangerous to the crop in cool years. There is a very strict canopy regime of hard pruning to a single arch and early shoot thinning. Of interest, although we never protect against botrytis with sprays, we have never suffered an outbreak in this cool site. We attribute our good fortune foremost to the wind-swept, northerly site with some congratulations to our viticultural excellence.