Portsea Estate Pinot Noir 2015
Portsea-Estate-Pinot-Noir-2015

Portsea Estate Pinot Noir 2015

Sale price$59.95
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Pinot Noir

Closure: Screwcap

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Portsea Estate Pinot Noir 2015

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Portsea Estate

Country: Australia

Region: Mornington Peninsula

Vintage: 2015

Critic Score: 95

Alcohol: 13.2%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2030


The power, intensity and depth of the wine are exceptional - James Halliday

Portsea Estate is a tiny vineyard located on the century old Tintagel property overlooking Bass Strait at the very tip of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. In 2000, Warwick Ross planted the protected north facing paddocks to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. The 2015 Portsea Estate Pinot Noir is from estate-grown clones MV6, 115, D2V6, 777 and G5V15.

"2015 was an outstanding vintage on the Mornington Peninsula and the Portsea Estate Pinot Noir does not disappoint. The wine has a haunting array of aromas ranging through savoury red fruits to hints of forest floor and truffle; yet it is the length and finesse of the red fruits at its core that is the key to this wine. The palate is beautifully structured, the earthy minerality and fine acidity and tannins indicative of a high quality pinot noir that is bred to stay for many years."  Nick Munday

"The nose is uniquely Portsea Estate - aromas of mixed berry fruits, rose petals and a hint of forest floor, underpinned by ultra-fine earthy minerality. The palate is elegantly held together by balanced acidity, finely grained tannins and extra tight French oak. With careful cellaring this Pinot Noir will develop further for the next decade and beyond."  Portsea Estate

Expert reviews

"2015 was an outstanding vintage on the Mornington Peninsula and the 2015 Portsea Estate Pinot Noir does not disappoint. The wine has a haunting array of aromas ranging through savoury red fruits to hints of forest floor and truffle; yet it is the length and finesse of the red fruits at its core that is the key to this wine. The palate is beautifully structured, the earthy minerality and fine acidity and tannins indicative of a high quality pinot noir that is bred to stay for many years."  Nick Munday, Canterbury Wines - 95 points

"Estate-grown clones MV6, 115, D2V6, 777 and G5V15. The great colour tells you this is a Siamese twin to Birthday Hill; the power, intensity and depth of the wine are exceptional, but result in a wine that is even more in need of bottle development, the rewards of patience likewise. Drink by 2030."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 94 points

About the winemakers

Portsea Estate winemakers Matt Lugg and Will Ross
 
Winemaker Matt Lugg (left) and General Manager and Assistant Winemaker Will Ross (right)


In the expanse of Mornington Peninsula, the Portsea Estate banner has grown to include wines from their own vineyards in Portsea and Main Ridge, as well as sourcing from other growers in the Mornington Peninsula. Matt Lugg and Will Ross work together in crafting the offering for Portsea Estate, with a focusing on refining the classic wines – particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – that the Mornington Peninsula does so well.

"We are always doing trials and trying to find better ways to make our wines. Be it reduction in chardonnay, whole bunch use in pinot noir, or new oak use in either, with all our trials, we find we nearly always settle on 'just enough but not too much'. Much like spices in cooking, these influences should be yet another component but never the main attraction," says winemaker Matt Lugg.

Matt Lugg’s winemaking narrative is a testament to his relentless pursuit of knowledge and excellence in the world of wine. His academic foundation in Wine Science from Charles Sturt University laid the groundwork for a career marked by diversity and global exposure. Lugg’s international stints in renowned wine regions like Burgundy and the Rhône Valley imbued him with a profound appreciation for the nuances of terroir and traditional winemaking techniques. These experiences, coupled with his work in Australian vineyards such as Stonier, Tyrrell’s, and Clyde Park, have cultivated a well-rounded and adaptable approach to his craft.

At Portsea Estate, Lugg’s role transcends that of a winemaker; he is a curator of the vineyard’s narrative, expressed through each bottle of wine. His methodology is grounded in a philosophy that prioritizes the vineyard’s voice over the winemaker’s signature. This ethos is vividly illustrated in his approach to the 2022 Main Ridge Reserve Block Chardonnay, where minimal intervention allows the vineyard’s character to shine, showcasing the wine’s purity, natural acidity, and aging potential.

Will Ross’s journey in the wine industry is a blend of tradition and innovation. As a third-generation manager and proprietor at Portsea Estate, Ross carries forward a legacy of passion for winemaking while infusing the business with fresh perspectives gained from his global experiences. His academic pursuits, including a Wine MBA from Bordeaux and hands-on experience in the dynamic wine markets of Hong Kong and Shanghai, equip him with a unique blend of traditional winemaking knowledge and modern business acumen.

Ross paints a picture of the diversity of the winegrowing terrain in the Mornington Peninsula: "We access grapes from a number of vineyards within the region. Most importantly, we have two family-owned vineyards: our Portsea block, which is where our winery is, and our Main Ridge block. The two sites are just about the most extreme opposites you’ll find on the Peninsula. Portsea is pretty well at sea level and would be one of the warmer sites of the region, and is on sandy with a limestone bedrock. Main Ridge on the other hand, is at 174m altitude, has nearly double the average rainfall – 1000mm compared to 550mm – and is on the most perfectly fertile agricultural soil one could hope for. Broadly speaking, the Mornington Peninsula is a cool climate region, widely influenced by the large bodies of water surrounding it. There are lots of inspiring producers in the region, and what we love most is broad range of sites that impart their own unique terroir on the wines."

Ross’s dual role as Assistant Winemaker and General Manager at Portsea Estate allows him to oversee the wine production process from vine to bottle while ensuring that the estate’s business strategies align with its artisanal values. His contribution to the winemaking process is marked by a respect for the estate’s heritage combined with a forward-looking approach to crafting wines that resonate with contemporary palates.

Together, Lugg and Ross represent the synergy of tradition and innovation, local expertise and global perspective. Their collaborative efforts at Portsea Estate are not just about producing wine; they are about crafting narratives that echo the estate’s history, the uniqueness of its terroir, and their personal journeys in the world of wine.

"We spend only around 10% of our time in the winery," says Lugg "Otherwise, the rest of our year is spent in the vineyard. Each vintage is improving as our vines and soil health improve with regenerative farming. In the vineyard, we are seeing more balanced vine growth and more hardy vines, along with far happier vineyard floor health. In the winery, we are seeing better acid retention, brighter wines and more impressive tannin. Whilst it’s too early to say, we think the 2024 vintage is the first year our crops have improved thanks to the practices."

The duo’s work is a dialogue with the land, a celebration of its bounty, and a tribute to the timeless art of winemaking. Through their wines, they invite connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike to experience the essence of the Mornington Peninsula, captured in each nuanced sip.

The above text is taken from an article that appeared in Young Gun of Wine: Portsea Estate winemakers Matt Lugg and Will Ross are Finalists in the Top Winemakers of 2024

About the Winery

Portsea Estate Vineyard


Portsea Estate is a tiny vineyard located on the century old Tintagel property overlooking Bass Strait at the very tip of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. Ted and June Ross purchased the 40 acre farm with undulating paddocks and sweeping views of tempestuous Bass Strait in 1956. They subsequently acquired the adjoining 106 acres from the Baillieu family in the '60s, allowing them to expand their cattle grazing activities.

In 2000, following Ted’s and June’s retirement from the business, son Warwick planted the protected north facing paddocks to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. The terroir is unique, derived from extensive limestone deposits and a top soil of calcareous sand and humus collected over thousands of years. The vines flourish on the sunny, north facing slopes, shielded from the windswept Bass Strait coastline. The fingers of wind which manage to penetrate the leaf canopy maintain the health of the vines by minimising humidity.

Warwick’s establishment of the Portsea Estate vineyard and label in 2000, in partnership with his sister Caron Wilson-Hawley, was a natural progression for him given his love of Burgundian wines. Today, Portsea Estate is still very much a family affair. Will Ross, Warwick's son, completed his first vintage at Portsea Estate in 2015 and joined the team full time as General Manager and assistant winemaker in 2019, taking the Ross family’s management of Portsea Estate into the second generation.

Portsea Estate acquired a second vineyard in Main Ridge in 2021. The 5.5ha Main Ridge vineyard was first planted in 1997. Will Ross points out the diversity of their two estate vineyards, "We have two family-owned vineyards: our Portsea block, which is where our winery is, and our Main Ridge block. The two sites are just about the most extreme opposites you’ll find on the Peninsula. Portsea is pretty well at sea level and would be one of the warmer sites of the region, and is on sandy soils with a limestone bedrock. Main Ridge on the other hand, at 174m altitude, has nearly double the average rainfall – 1000mm compared to 550mm – and is on the most perfectly fertile agricultural soil one could hope for."

The wines were originally made by Tim Elphick, who worked at Tarrawarra Estate, Yarra Ridge and Domaine Chandon, before five years at Paringa Estate under the tutelage of master winemaker Lindsay McCall.

In 2021, Matt Lugg was appointed as the new winemaker. Matt obtained his Bachelor of Wine Science from Charles Sturt University and his Bachelor of Environments (Architecture) from the University of Melbourne. He commenced his wine career at Stonier Wines where he was appointed assistant winemaker in 2015. Matt also has worked vintages in Burgundy, the Rhône Valley and in Australia at Stonier, Tyrrell’s and Clyde Park.

Wine region map of Victoria

Victoria

Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.