If the hype is anything to go by, then 2015 is going to be an epic vintage in southern Victoria.
Obviously it’s still very early, with most of the top wines still in oak (or just bottled). But if the (unreleased) Polperro Chardonnay I had last night is anything to go by, then there might be some justification to the beatup…
I’ve written before about Sam Coverdale’s Polperro wines before, but the sentiment deserves repeating – these are shit-hot Mornington Peninsula wines, built on acidity and proper hands-off winemaking, the style contemporary and clever. My only gripe – and I was badgering Sam about it last night – is that Polperro just doesn’t make enough wine, and they sell out so quickly that I never get to see them.
Last night we were roadtesting a range of Polperro wines (plus a mini-vertical of Even Keel Canberra Syrah) at the newly reborn BBQ King, one of those iconic Sydney BYO restaurants that has (or had) a certain infamy in the wine industry. Known for its excellent Peking Duck, stupidly cheap Bollinger and typically rude service (part of the experience!), BBQ King was once known as the favourite haunt of the late Kerry Packer.
But this Sydney Chinese icon slipped badly in its final years at the old Goulburn St site, with my last visit like stepping into a nasty regional NSW Chinese restaurant. Now, however, the team have now turned that around, and the new BBQ King is much improved, without giving up the duck glory. Even the service was more polite than normal (sort of).
It was the new – and Sam hasn’t named it yet – single vineyard 2015 Polperro ‘orphan’ Chardonnay (which may become Tallon Hill?) that was the hero though, sourced from the original block that surrounds the Polperro cellar door (which is one of the highest vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula).
I can’t give much more details than that purely because this is an unreleased, unnamed, just bottled wine. But damn it looked good – cool and coiled, with custard apple and lemon, the palate carrying a real tension between high acidity (Sam thinks circa 8g/L TA when picked) and rich, leesy flavours, the palate complexity utterly impressive. Real good, real fine Mornington richness, but with grapefruity, pure, natural acidity. Brilliant.
The standard ’15 Polperro Pinot Noir is too immature to be great just yet (and it’s a step behind), but again, promise, promise, beautiful red fruited promise.
Even the ’15 Polperro Pinot Gris was blindingly good, a nod to how much more interesting Mornington Gris is than, say, bloody Sauvignon Blanc. Rich, varietal, textural, ‘Oregon’s best’ style Gris, with weight and, you guessed it acidity.
Sure, it’s early, but the promise is there. Oh yes, the wines are going to be good. Meanwhile, some of these ’15 Polperro’s are now available at the winery website – and they’re worth the plunge…