Quealy Seventeen Rows Pinot Noir
Current Vintage: 2018
Although it was purchased in 2003, Quealy's home vineyard was initially planted in 1982, making this Balnarring vineyard one of Mornington's oldest Pinot Noir sites. From that era just 17 rows of MV6 Pinot Noir remain, gifting their old vine fruit to Quealy's flagship Pinot Noir. The entire vineyard is located on a gentle north-facing slope, on shallow loams over clay. From 2019 these vines have been certified organic.
Seventeen Rows is Quealy's most profound wine. It is crammed with old-vine intensity and has serious structure--within the range, unique to the product of this site and these vines. 2018 was harvested in two tranches (the 1st and 6th March), entirely de-stemmed and wild-fermented in small, one-tonne pots. Only the free-run wine was then settled and racked to 300-litre barriques (33% new).
It is not really summer in Melbourne until you’ve packed up the car and crammed every living friend and relative into the car for a day/weekend trip to the Mornington Peninsula. On the tail end of the Eastern Bay of Melbourne, you can expect to find a dynamic range of beach side living. From the low key, sleepy beach towns to bustling coastal communities - packed with arriviste private schools, cafes, boutiques, competitive polo and some of the most expensive strips of holiday home real estate serving some of the richest people in the nation. You might even catch a glimpse of Lindsay Fox landing his helicopter on his Portsea front beach mansion.
Unlike the pretences of its holiday makers, the region packs a punch now that wine making has returned to favour in the area after a period of decline. You can expect to find high quality, cool climate wines that deliver fresh, smooth mouthfeel and a sense of wanting more. We can’t get enough of summer in the peninsula, and the cracka’ selection of winemakers are a perfect pairing.
"Kathleen Quealy's son, Tom McCarthy, is charged with the winemaking and I like the result. This follows the lighter-framed format of the other pinot noirs, but still has plenty of flavour. All spiced cherries and a dash of kirsch, pepper and earth, black olives and juniper. Supple tannins, lithe and plenty of enjoyment." 94 points, Jane Faulkner, Winecompanion.com.au