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    Dexter Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay

    In the vineyard, a combination of P58, I10V1, I10V5, Bernard 76 and Bernard 277 clones were planted to portray the site through multiple lenses. Careful canopy management allows just the right amount of sunlight into the bunch zone, as well as ensuring good airflow.

    Handpicked fruit is gently whole bunch pressed into a tank and settled overnight. The juice is then transferred into French oak puncheons (a combination of new, second third and fourth use) and inoculated with a neutral yeast. Fermentation is relatively vigorous and complete within two weeks. Depending on the season, some puncheons are stirred and allowed to complete malolactic fermentation, whilst others are prevented from completing malolactic fermentation in order to retain fresh fruit aromas and flavours. The wine is left on lees until bottling about 10 months after harvest. More detailed tasting notes for each vintage, including wine analysis, can be downloaded below.

    Dexter Mornington Peninsula Black Label Chardonnay

    In 1988 we planted 8 rows (0.5 hectare) of a “new clone” of Pinot Noir called Mariafield. There was a lot we didn’t know back then regarding Pinot clones and this was not a good decision. The bunches were huge and the wine very ordinary. In 1992 I decided to pull this clone of Pinot Noir out and replant with Chardonnay.

    At the time Yalumba’s vine nursery had just started importing the latest clonal selections of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Burgundy known as the Bernard clones. There were approximately 5 clones of chardonnay available and I chose two (96 and 277) that I believed would be the best suited for my site based on the limited information available at the time. I believe this planting was the first on the Mornington Peninsula of these new clones and one of the earliest in Victoria. Today these Bernard clones are often preferred when planting Chardonnay (and Pinot Noir) in Australia.

    Over the subsequent years I have observed that these two clones produce wine different to the other two clones (P58 and I10V5) in the vineyard and finally in 2020 decided to tweak the winemaking on this small batch and bottle a small portion separately.

    As these are low yielding vines and this is a small block quantity will always be limited and not produced every year.

    Dexter Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir

    In the vineyard, a combination of MV6, 777, D5V12 and Pommard clones provide an intricate depiction of the site. Throughout the season, careful vineyard management guides the vines into a harmonious balance where optimal flavour development occurs at appropriate sugar levels. Achieving this allows the production of world class wines.

    Upon arrival at the winery, hand-picked fruit is destemmed without crushing and elevated into small open fermenters. Fruit remains un-inoculated for 2-3 days and when fermentation is observed, a cultured yeast is added.  Depending on the season, a percentage of fruit may be left as whole bunches and fermented separately to the destemmed fruit and blended back into the finished wine. During fermentation, must temperatures peak at around 32°C and the cap is plunged or pumped-over up to 2 times per day. 2-3 days after fermentation is complete, the must is gently pressed and transferred into French Oak barriques and puncheons (typically around 20% new, 10% second use and the remainder older) where MLF occurs before winter. The wine is racked just prior to bottling in January, approximately 10 months after harvest. More detailed tasting notes for each vintage, including wine analysis, can be downloaded below.

    Dexter Mornington Peninsula Black Label Pinot Noir

    This wine is only ever made in the occurrence of an exceptional growing season. Overall moderate temperatures that lead to even ripening, and the absence of extreme weather events, typify these seasons. A portion of the oldest part of the Dexter vineyard (clone MV6), which is consistently of the highest quality in the vineyard, provides the fruit for this wine. Taking inspiration from some of the best pinot noir producers in Burgundy, a different winemaking technique (whole-bunch fermentation) is employed in the winery. The result is a wine that still displays the fundamental characteristics of the Dexter site, whilst adding extra layers of spice, forest floor, tannin and overall complexity. So far, only two vintages (2015 and 2018) have proven adequate to make this wine. Production will always be limited (2-4 barrels) so as to not take away from the traditional Dexter pinot.

    The goal of this wine is to maintain the personality of the Dexter vineyard whilst showcasing a different style of winemaking. What is clear when looking at the Dexter Black and White label pinots side by side is that great wine is made in the vineyard, irrespective of winemaking technique. More detailed tasting notes for each vintage, including wine analysis, can be downloaded below.