Kate McIntyre is a marvellous endorsement of the relaxed business style of Mornington winery owners.

Her easy talk captures the essence of her wines, the word choice is straight and to the point, no pomp, as Australia’s most recently acclaimed Master of Wine cares to be.

The family business is Moorooduc Estate – her’s is the marketing, and of course the elevated forms of “wine speak”, that these public encounters demand.

Lots of questions when flavours are less obvious and style and shape become the paramount tastes.

You see, twenty or so Mornington vintners had brought their drinks to Brisbane in Queensland’s south east, and all the wines were out to try.

I went straight for Moorooduc, an established, high quality, keenly directed small maker which specialises in chardonnay and pinot noir (Mornington’s staple diet), a little pinot gris and the occasional shiraz (assisted by global warming).

Moorooduc Estate Pinot Gris 2010 14% (USD38); ++++; this has a taut nose, pears yes, but not many, more the effects of barrel aging, also malo-lactic which holds it in, it’s palate is taut too, the flavour generous but the shape fearsomely tight; will it flower? Yes, in time, just that the racy acid gives it additional reason to tighten. Bright wine, single vineyard.

Select-Moorooduc Estate Pinot Gris 2010

Moorooduc Estate Chardonnay 2010 13% (USD38); ++++1/2; very closed, nose tight, restraint, restraint (normal), mealy from malo-lactic, that’s there, lovely freshness, kernels of flavour and coils of acidity, lemon, bright acids and drying finals. Fine, low alcohol is a plus.

Restraint-Moorooduc Estate Chardonnay 2010

Moorooduc Estate The Moorooduc Chardonnay 2009 13% (USD 60); ++++1/2; nose complexity is enjoyable, worth many sniffs, each one changes, the result of screw cap removal, it’s a long drink and that’s where the oak sits on the palate (25% new), soundly structured and slowly developing; don’t drink yet.

100 dozen made from the barrel selection, and some of the oldest McIntyre vines. Kate says drink 2016-2021; I can only agree. This is life in the slow lane.

Moorooduc Estate McIntyre Pinot Noir 2009 14% (USD 38); +++; has pinot colour, nose advancing so it is maturing, a good sign, ready-to-drink I say, wild aromas, probably wild yeast effects, very compact style, some austerity, savoury, structured, exemplary cool climate characters yet bold. Fab, drink early.

Moorooduc Estate The Moorooduc Pinot Noir 2009 14% (USD 60); +++1/2; some cedar and sap-like fruit, smoke, complex, tight and austere palate, built with the basics but shines slowly, probably the year not wanting to make the wine look obvious, smells older than it tastes, effects from the bushfires. 60 dozen produced.

Authentic-Moorooduc Estate McIntyre Pinot Noir 2009

Peter Scudamore-Smith is a Brisbane-based Master of Wine, winemaker and educator www.uncorkedandcultivated.com.au

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