Tussie Mussie Vineyard Pinot Gris 2018
Pinot Gris like Pinot Noir are so distinguished by their site. Tussie Mussie Vineyard, formerly a flower farm, grows in the choccy red, iron rich soil of Merricks North. It’s a generous wine with a luscious stone fruit palate; honey, heavy bottomed pears, creamy classic Pinot Gris. The mud brick homestead and original rambling house gardens are sensitively maintained as a boutique retreat.
LOOKS LIKE... Green and gold
SMELLS LIKE... Honey and wild flowers, stone fruit
DRINK WITH... Caramelised radicchio and blue cheese
CELLAR UNTIL... Drink when fresh, within 3 years
Merricks North red volcanic soils, rich in iron, naturally create voluble Pinot Gris as sensual as the landscape. Vintage 2018 was hand-picked on 4th April following a consistent, agreeable summer. The grapes were gently pressed as whole bunches; the next day the juice was racked before ferment began.
Cultured yeast is used to negate the requirement for any sulphur additions to the juice. Selected cultured yeast in this case of ultra-ripe grapes ensures that at the end, only a trace of the grape’s sugar remains thus making the wine naturally stable. The lion’s share of free run juice was fermented in stainless steel, with a 20% portion reserved for new French oak. All of the wine was stirred on lees until November when the wine was assembled to be bottled in December 2019. Tussie Mussie Pinot Gris is left with a small residual of sugar (2.0 grams per litre) that balances the alcohol and the acid.
The wine is a luscious golden liquid in the glass. The aroma of ripe orchard fruits, spice and honey is confirmed on the palate with the gentlest suggestion of sweetness. Richness and warmth are evident in the aroma and mouth feel. Honey, heavy bottomed pears, and spiced quince. The palate has an attractive mineral backbone from the volcanic soils (Flinders Volcano 40-48 million years ago), showing textured phenolics from the slow press cycle, creamy and generous. The vineyards’ joyful moniker, suggestive of its former existence as a rose & herb farm, is expressed by this hedonistic Pinot Gris. Inviting floral aromas exude the glass, swiftly accompanied by lemon peel and honeysuckle. Beautiful, ripe flavours of nectarine and a hint of spice guide the palate to a luxurious, lingering finish.
Tussie Mussie Vineyard is located 1500 metres uphill from Quealy’s Winery along Bittern-Dromana Rd, Merricks North. The vineyard is a north-facing slope that captures sunshine, and because it is a central valley on the Peninsula is protected from excessive wind. The vineyard is planted in productive Red Ferrosols; deep red loam that you can sink your boots into that gradually transitions to a red clay. Before the vineyard, the property was a flower farm, hence the name remains.
Tussie Mussie is 3.5 acres each of Mornington Peninsula’s most impressive varieties – Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The vineyard was planted in 2009 with 2.5 x 1 metre spacing on simpatico rootstock. It’s a young vineyard that has benefited from the Mornington Peninsula’s collective decades of experience. As with most of Mornington’s vineyards, grapes are grown without any irrigation, and in this case saving the water for Tussie Mussie gardens and wildlife.