You always know when a wine is made in small quantities as there is no barcode in sight. That’s certainly the case with David Lloyd’s Eldridge Estate wines, most of which have packaging that hasn’t changed in the last ten years.
That could be interpreted as a bad thing, but I can see that it’s more a result of a producer who cares more about what’s in the bottle than anything else (and I’m totally okay with that).
On a side topic, if you ever find yourself on the Mornington Peninsula do stop by the Eldridge Estate cellar door. It’s small, often manned by David himself and has an excellent deck with a great view (that’s the picture above). Well worth a visit. The clone work in the vineyard is very interesting too – doubly worth the drive.
The following wines have been tasted over the past night or so. Extra bits in italics…
Eldridge Estate Mornington Peninsula Fume Blanc 2015
Barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc matured in 30% new oak.
Achingly fresh. Too fresh even, to the point where it needs a lie down, the nose heavy with primary, gooseberry and grass aromatics, the grassiness pervading through the sharply defined palate with little in the way of barrel character until somewhere near the firm finish. It’s a clean, defined and snappy wine, but feels forceful in its acid. Drink next year, when the score will go up. Best drinking: 2016-2019. 17/20, 90/100+. 13%, $30. Would I buy it? Next year maybe.
Eldridge Estate Mornington Peninsula Gamay 2014
Bright purple, but deep for a Gamay – more like a Purple Pinot. This has a nose of black cherry, a little dash of vanilla bean oak and then a quite beefy edge to the plum and dark cherry fruit. It’s quite a satisfying, broad-shouldered Gamay with a depth and tang that would be more at home in Pinot. Love the slightly sour acidity too – refreshing. The only thing missing is that joyous beauty of some Beaujolais Cru, as this is too firm for that. Length, however, is top shelf, and I’ve no qualms in singing its praises as a very grown-up wine. Best drinking: 2016 – 2022+. 18/20, 93/100. 13%, $40. Would I buy it? I’d drink a whole bottle in a restaurant.
Eldridge Estate Morington Peninsula PTG 2015
A blend of 50% Gamay and 50% Pinot Noir from a selection of clones. Has been in oak since April, 20% new. Unfined, unfiltered and with less than 20ppm free sulphur, David Lloyd would prefer to see this drunk within 12 months.
Bright, light magenta, the nose a riot of red and purple plum and red berry fruit with a dash of herbal stemmy characters. Light bodied and yet quite concentrated, it’s an awful long way from Beaujolais Nouveau, again with a masculinity of that suggests it will live way beyond 12 months. In fact it’s almost too serious, that tomato bush and beetroot spicy herbal edge defining as more than just a quaff, indeed it doesn’t taste juicy at all. Quality, but perhaps a little too firm and spicy to be a quaff. Drink: 2015-2018. 17.5/20, 91/100. 13%, $33. Would I buy it? A glass or two would be enough.