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                                              N     E     W        S      L      E        T       T        E       R

                                 Climb every mountain                         Spike certainly had the situation summed up well even
                                                                              if he did pinch the first three lines from the Sound of
                                      Ford every stream                       Music. He and I share a common view of the modern world
                                  Follow every rainbow                        in which we find ourselves. Multi-tasking and seamless
                          Til you find you’re knackered                        communication fill in most of the gaps that otherwise would
                                                                              have been ‘wasted’ on relaxation. Rest is apparently only for
                                                    Spike Milligan 1994       the departed. Another year has vanished in the rear-view
                                                                              mirror of life and the new one is upon us with its own unique
                                                                              challenges. Let’s hope that the tragic circumstances of 2009

P AG E 2 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
will never be repeated. It seems no two seasons are         Unusually for us farming types, we seem to have nothing
alike these days. Last year the valley was tinder dry       to complain about this year. In spite of dire predictions of a
and burning and this year the landscape remains more        repeat of last year’s disastrous hot and dry conditions, the
green than brown on the back of a perfect summer.           valley has refused to brown off in 2010. An early burst of
As many of you would know, we are overdue for a good        warm weather in December brought the hay on but timely
run and things are certainly looking up. The wines          falls of rain ever since have supported a lush regrowth
                                                            which looks like taking us through into winter. No drought,
are terrific, the new vineyard is thriving (including the
                                                            no frost, no hail, no fungus, no smoke, no heat shrivel, no
“rhone project”), the staff are bristling with energy and
                                                            phylloxera (touch wood), not a single African Black Beetle!
enthusiasm, the revegetation areas are coming on with
                                                            Very frustrating, not a single issue upon which to appeal
many of our young trees well above head height, the         to your collective sympathy. The local branch of the CFA,
building plans for the new winery are almost complete       who train on our flats, have put in many hours preparing
and to cap it all off, the 2010 crop has been great.        for a season that has thankfully turned out to be threat free.
Today is the 14th of April and yesterday we completed       However, notwithstanding any of this, in various localities
the 2010 harvest by picking the Petit verdot and what       up and down the east coast of Australia, extreme weather
a great season it has been.                                 events have dominated the news. Recently (third week of

                                                                                                            M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 3
                                                    February 2010) such heavy rains fell along the south coast
                                                    of NSW that widespread flooding caused multiple road
                                                    closures. We experienced 250mm of rain on our annual
                                                    road trip and there were reports of falls as high as 549mm
                                                    in 48 hours just north of Bermagui! As I write, Queensland
                                                    is battling widespread flooding for the third time in two
                                                    months and only a couple of weeks ago Melbourne
                                                    recorded its largest hailstones ever! Traffic on the city’s
                                                    freeways was at a standstill as thousands of icy meteorites,
                                                    the size of oranges and lemons, caused widespread
                                                    mayhem. I retreated to the laptop and watched nervously
                                                    on the weather radar as we were spared yet again. What
                                                    a summer we have had! It also looks as though the run-off
                                                    water in the north-east might well end up in Lake Eyre for
                                                    the second year in a row! Extraordinary times.

P AG E 4 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
What about the grapes then?
The environmental variables that are critical to the ripening
process are temperature, humidity, soil moisture and
sunlight. Soils play a key role in providing water and
                                                                We knew we were in for a good year when a pair of Tawny
                                                                Frogmouths built a nest directly over our front gate at the
                                                                beginning of Spring. Over the next few weeks they raised one
                                                                                                                                     ‘‘wefor a goodwere
                                                                                                                                          knew we
nutrients especially in dry grown vineyards such as Mount       of two hatchlings to independence giving me the chance to                when a pair of
Mary. This year soil moisture has not been a limiting factor
                                                                take quite a few photos one of which appeared on our Xmas              Tawny Frogmouths
and the crop has ripened evenly with mild days and warm
                                                                card. Some consider the presence of wild creatures to indicate
                                                                general health in the local environment and I am sure there
                                                                                                                                       built a nest directly     ‘‘
nights. The winter was more ‘normal’ for the valley with some
                                                                are many circumstances where this is true. One property near           over our front gate.
significant rains and even one flood! That has not happened
                                                                Canberra recently reported the presence of a number of
for many years and to celebrate I have included a photo for     Bearded Dragons (not a dragon at all but an Australian lizard)
you. I have also included photos taken by Victoria Middleton    living in the vineyard. The fact that wild creatures co-exist with
on Feb 7, 2009 and Feb 7th, 2010. The comparison could not      us by choice is probably a good sign. Not sure what we would
be more striking. I will let those images and their captions    think if Bearded Dragons took to ringbarking vines and eating
speak for themselves. The ripening conditions this year have    fruit and foliage. Thankfully they don’t do such things and in
been gentle and the crop has been excellent throughout.         this case may actually be assisting in the control of pests.

                                                                                                                 M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 5
 The anniversary of                                    Late afternoon, Feb 7th 2009, Black Saturday.
 Black Saturday, 2010                                  Early smoke blocks out the sun


P AG E 6 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
And the release wines? I hear you ask.
You have to concentrate here because this is complicated.        purchasing red wine this year. But don’t panic, the 2008
This year we are doing things a little differently in that we    reds are developing very well and will be released in May
are offering a couple of new wines, a couple of older wines,     2011. This year we are also releasing the Dr. John 2006
one very special wine and a couple of wines that we have         Chardonnay. John Middleton and his wife Marli, were the
decided to release on a “Not for Sale” basis. As we are          founders of Mount Mary. John, my father, died in June
now in the second half of our 2007 frost recovery (no 2007       2006, almost four years ago. Being quite ill throughout the
white grapes harvested and only secondary crop 2007 red          vintage of 2006, he did not play any physical part but was
grapes produced) we are offering reserve stocks of Quintet       able to communicate from hospital by telephone providing
2005 and 2006 in lieu of the absent 2007 reds. The reds that     advice both on the timing of harvest and the management
were made from 2007 secondary crop (from reserve shoots          of the ferments. These were the last wines that John was
that emerged post frost) are not typical of Mount Mary but       to have any involvement in. Chardonnay had become his
are not bad wines! They are out of character being made          favourite drink and his original planting of Mendoza clone
from distinctly different fruit but nonetheless, not deserving   Chardonnay vines have always produced fruit of consistent
of disposal. We thought these wines might be of interest         quality but in small amount. In 2006 we made the decision
to our mail order clients and will be available to those         to vinify this fruit separately and to release the wine as a

                                                                                  M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 7
                                    tribute to his life’s work as a much loved country doctor     think that with all our money in their bank account they
                                    and a vigneron in his later years.                            could at least afford a calendar. Perhaps they got a bargain
                                                                                                  on last years! The whisper is that a change from ad valorem
                                    ‘Nothing is certain but death and taxes’ is a phrase          to volumetric alcohol tax is up for serious consideration.
                                    attributed to Benjamin Franklin in the year 1789, he was      This would mean increased financial pressure for cheap wine
                                    83 years old. Governments love to fiddle with taxation like    production and elevated prices. Meanwhile at the premium
                                    the vampire drinking from the victim’s jugular and knowing    end of the market we might see wine becoming cheaper
                                    just when to stop (short of killing the poor sod), thereby    through taxation relief. I wonder whether this would alter
                                    guaranteeing a second helping, thirds ad infinitum. Over       patterns of alcohol consumption to the point of limiting

‘‘   we made the
decision to vinify this
                                    the years we have come to expect the same reward for
                                    our innovation, hard work and success. This reward is the
                                    chance to be taxed more, and repeatedly, at a number of
                                                                                                  the damage done?

                                                                                                  This review happens to coincide with the Australian wine
 fruit separately and               levels. Yet another government overhaul of wine taxation      industry’s biggest challenge in many years which is the over
to release the wine as              is underway and the wine industry had better watch out.       production of low quality fruit. The Global Financial Crisis
a tribute to Dr. John’s             According to the web site, The Henry Taxation Review is due
                                    to hand down its findings in December 2009! Lets hope the
                                                                                                  has not helped at all and indeed has made it more difficult
                                                                                                  for our trading partners to take on Australian products. The
      life’s work.                  conclusions make more sense than the schedule. You would      UK and the US are the most significantly affected of these

 P AG E 8 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
markets. As we speak, workshops are underway
throughout the wine regions of Australia as part of an
initiative of the Winemakers Federation of Australia to
restructure the industry and bring about a contraction of
production in the order of 25-30%. Put your hand up if
you would like to pull out your vineyard.

So what does all this mean? In spite of the current pain
and the obvious hardship that many producers will suffer,
the industry stands to make significant gains in terms of
Australian wine being of a higher quality and greater value
in the future. This is long overdue. The raising of the bar
with regard to Australian wine has been too difficult for
various peak bodies to tackle because the industry has
been dominated by high volume, low cost producers who
speak with the loudest voice.

                                                              M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 9
The 2010 Eastern Pinot
begins its journey

P AG E 1 0 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
There has been very little support for small-scale producers      the tax liability on the volume of alcohol in the product
who are driven by a quest for quality. As a result, there is      rather than the price of the product. From a government
international confusion over the quality of Australian wine       perspective this change might indicate an attempt to
and only those close to the industry and those devotees           limit the social damage done by alcohol by decreasing
who follow Australia’s premium wine know what is possible         the consumption of cheap wine. Indeed, cheap wine is a
in terms of quality and our future success. In the most recent    popular vehicle for alcohol abuse. Is it the responsibility of
issue of Vineyard and Winery Management (a respected              grape growers to consider the long-term impact of cheap
North American journal) Richard Thomas describes how              wine and to alter their endeavours for the benefit of society?
Australia is now considered to be a producer of cheap wine        The industry has been dominated for years by large scale,
and this makes it harder for more expensive Australian wine       cheap wine producers who will be most affected by any such
to be accepted into that market. The industry is so polarised     change. Regions such as our beloved Yarra Valley were never
that it can hardly claim to be a single industry and it fails     suitable for large scale growing and processing. The Yarra
to speak with a single voice on most issues of importance.        Valley is not an industrial zone, it is (or rather was) the perfect
At this moment the most serious example of this is the            home for small, self-contained wine producers working solely
debate about the possible change from an ad valorem to a          with local fruit. This is no place for large scale, cheap wine
volumetric taxation base. Essentially this involves calculating   production. It is alarming how much fruit from outside the

                                                                                 M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 1 1
‘‘soils provide the
 nutrients for the vine,
                                     valley is trucked in and how much movement there is of
                                     machinery and personnel. It is not surprising that we now
                                     have phylloxera in the Yarra Valley. What is surprising is that
                                                                                                       most terroir to soil. Whilst topography, aspect and weather
                                                                                                       all play a part in creating unique wine characteristics it is the
                                                                                                       ability of the soil to impart site specific taste to wine that is the
 the water each plant                we didn’t get it sooner when these changes began. I wish          unproven essence of terroir. In spite of the lack of a scientific
depends upon and the                 we could rewind the clock. Unfortunately we can’t and it’s        explanation, it is apparent that constraints on water and
  physical means by                  a shame that those that brought it in are unable to take          nutrient uptake by soils may lead to differences in fruit and
                                     it away again. We are stuck with it for all time now, a           subsequently wine. Late last year we commissioned a study of
which the vine stands                                                                                  Mount Mary’s soils. Soils provide the nutrients for the vine, the
                       ‘‘            permanent reminder of the damage done by greed.
tall to collect the rays                                                                               water each plant depends upon and the physical means by
       of the sun.                   The real future for the Yarra Valley lies in the production       which the vine stands tall to collect the rays of the sun. They
                                     of wines that express our regionality giving wine drinkers        are a long time in the making these soils, and yet can be lost in
                                     a tangible link between the bottle and the vine.                  an instant, carried away by the floods and the wind. There are
                                                                                                       many things we can do to protect and improve our soils and a
                                     Terroir aspects and soils science                                 comparison between our old vineyard, the new vineyard and
                                     So let’s consider terroir for a moment. Derived from the french   our non-vineyard control sites gives us an idea of the changes
                                     word for land or earth (terre) it seems only fair to attribute    that are occurring through time. Generally the soils in our part

  P AG E 1 2 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
of the Yarra Valley are derived from ancient silurian sandstones
of cambrian (around 500 million years ago) origin. Well drained,
acidic and lacking a distinct boundary between the horizons
(Dermasols), they are subject to, amongst other things,
compaction in the root zone from vehicle traffic (which limits
water transfer), decreasing organic matter from low biomass
turnover, the accumulation of metals present in foliar sprays
(copper as an example), acidification from the application of
sulphur, decreasing invertebrate numbers, nutrient leaching,
structural damage and declining fertility. To compound things
further, the excess use of herbicides leads to changes in the
plant community with the persistence of some weeds that
become more difficult to control over time. Examples of
these at this site include nightshade and wireweed. We are
working hard to counter these changes in our soils over time.
The addition of compost is known to improve the composition

                                                                   M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 1 3
                                                      and the structure of soils and is a commonly employed practice,
                                                      especially in France where soils have remained productive for
                                                      centuries. Also, the application of mulch to the vine row has
                                                      been associated not only with the conservation of soil moisture,
                                                      but also with strengthening the grape skin against fungal attack.
                                                      Minimising the use of chemical control agents for plant, insect
                                                      and microbial pests is another measure that is gaining favour.
                                                      One of the great ironies of viticulture is that the happy vine
                                                      does not produce the best fruit. Vines that receive all the water
                                                      and nutrient they need tend to be vegetatively vigorous and
                                                      produce dull fruit. The paradox is that a little vine cruelty leads
                                                      to wine kindness with improved flavours, aromas, complexity
                                                      and concentration. It is not just by chance that dryland vineyards
                                                      produce superior fruit. Irrigating vines in the Yarra Valley, other
                                                      than in drought, is as unnecessary as the screw cap closure.

P AG E 1 4 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
Closures then
We continue to hold our line and use DIAM closures in the
face of growing criticism from the screw-cap sycophants. As
we have explained many times to many people, DIAM is not
                                                                 Next time you are enjoying a wine under screw-cap,
                                                                 ponder aluminium and its toxicity to brain cells, the
                                                                 environmental cost of the smelting process, the air
                                                                                                                                   ‘‘ oneironies of
                                                                                                                                           of the

the same as natural cork. We have moved away from natural        and ground pollution associated with smelting (fluorosis           viticulture is that
cork until such time as its quality improves and the incidence   in particular) and the large amounts of energy (electricity)       the happy vine
of taint is acceptably small. As we speak, there is evidence
accumulating that the quality of natural cork is on the rise
                                                                 required to produce aluminium. If that is not enough,
                                                                 consider the copper that is added to wines under
                                                                                                                                   does not produce       ‘‘
and that the incidence of cork taint is declining. One study     screw-cap to keep the sulphides at bay. This ludicrous
                                                                                                                                     the best fruit.
conducted by the French Wine Society in 2009 found less          situation is a direct result of the occlusive nature of the
than 1 per cent of bottles were affected by cork taint. Mind     screw-cap suffocating the wine. The appropriately
you, the French seem to be able to secure the best quality       named screw-cap screws the biochemistry of the bottle.
corks for their own use. We have no intention of moving back     We should also be interested in the amount of copper we
to natural cork at this stage but for the long-term health of    are ingesting. Managing the overuse of copper in the
the environment it would be the best option. Give me a cork      vineyard is bad enough (it is the key component of some
oak forest over an aluminium smelter any day.                    common fungicides) but adding it directly to wine is another

                                                                                                            M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 1 5

‘‘we are pleased
 to have qualified
                                    matter all together – bon appetite! Strangely enough
                                    the biodynamic lobby has generously overlooked the
                                    toxicity of both copper and sulphur, deeming them
                                                                                                As mentioned earlier our revegetation works are progressing
                                                                                                well. The Snowgums are flourishing in their copse beside the
                                                                                                old dairy and our extensive plantings along the Olinda Creek
 for the support of                 acceptable ‘natural’ control agents for fungal disease.     and the ‘Drain’ are healthy and vigorous. We are proud to
 Melbourne Water,                   Presumably this is because without those two toxic          have qualified for the support of Melbourne Water, as part of
   as part of their                 elements the impact of fungal disease on the crop           their healthy streams and waterways program in this regard.
                          ‘‘        would be considerably greater. Why is it that substances    This exciting co-operative project involving most landowners
  healthy streams                   that occur naturally are considered not only safe but       along the length of the Olinda creek from Lilydale township
  and waterways.                    good for us? Uranium, 1080, lead, pyrolizidine alkaloids,   to the Yarra River, is greatly enhancing the landscape with the
                                    death cap mushrooms, hemlock, deadly nightshade             replacement of weed species by native trees and shrubs of
                                    and taipan venom all occur naturally so by this misguided   local origin. This will not only provide an important corridor
                                    logic these must be good for us. Whose first to dig in?      for wildlife, but will significantly improve the quality of water
                                    All food for thought.                                       reaching the Yarra River. So far we have planted around three
                                                                                                thousand trees with many more to come. Our water supply
                                                                                                project is underway with a number of new rain water tanks in

 P AG E 1 6 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
the system and the settling ponds and lake construction
due for completion by the end of 2011. In years to come,
you will be able to enjoy a quiet wine overlooking the vineyard
then take a walk around the lake and along the creek.

New Vineyard
The new vineyard consists of rootstock plantings of all
existing varieties and is going very well. Most vines are up
to the fruiting wire and will produce a crop of some kind in
2011. Lying between this and the old vineyard is the ‘Rhone
Project’ which comprises a small (3 acre) planting of seven
Rhone Valley varieties; Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault,
Clairette, Rousanne and Marsanne. It is early days for this
exciting adventure and we will not see much fruit before
2012 but we will keep you posted.

                                                                  M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 1 7
                                   New Winery

‘‘   this aphid pest
     is now known
                                   As mentioned earlier, we have elected to go underground
                                   with the first stage of the new winery. The architects have
                                   done a terrific job creating a low profile, rustic facility with
                                                                                                    was that it is an inevitability for us. The previous reported
                                                                                                    Victorian occurrence was at Mansfield and announced
                                                                                                    by press release on 28th of January 2010. Frustratingly,
      to be present                a great sense of permanence. Stage two will be the story         we are now in the phylloxera infested zone and only a
       on at least 5  ‘‘           above which will integrate and dovetail with the existing        couple of kilometres from an abandoned vineyard which
        properties.                building and provide office space as well as visitor and          lies outside the zone. This vineyard has remained
                                   staff comforts.
                                                                                                    unmanaged for some months now and causes us great
                                   Phylloxera                                                       concern from a disease point of view. Imagine my relief
                                   Since its careless introduction into the valley sometime         when I contacted the authorities and was assured (in writing)
                                   prior to 2006 when clinical disease first became apparent,        that abandoned vineyards carry no more pests and diseases
                                   this aphid pest is now known to be present on at least           than managed ones! So much for expensive management
                                   5 properties. Recent news of phylloxera having been              practises. Abandonment as a vineyard management strategy.
                                   discovered at Chandon adds another level of risk to Mount        Why didn’t we think of that? Still it is comforting to know
                                   Mary and is further support for the view of my father which      that we are in such good hands. Our taxes at work.

 P AG E 1 8 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 1 9
P AG E 2 0 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
Sam Middleton has recently returned to Mount Mary from         quarantine service. They inserted a note advising that
a vintage in Burgundy where he worked at Pierre Naigeon’s      the posting of cheese is not on but allowed the parcel
in Gevrey. Sam represents the third generation at Mount        to continue on its way! Figure that one out!
Mary and our corridor to the future. Rob Hall and Sam
make a formidable team in the winery and this vintage          Sam’s younger brother Hugh, a professional musician, is also
they have had the luxury of a third wine maker Tenneguy        getting more involved in the family business by taking on the
Mailly. Tenneguy, who just recently returned to Burgundy,      role of on-site IT manager. He has recently been working with
is the principal wine maker at Pierre Naigeon and was          our IT consultants to replace the computer system. Hugh is
Sam’s supervisor during his recent visit. Tenneguy has spent   currently on a teaching tour of Cuba and Ecuador and will
the past few weeks at Mount Mary in an exchange that           return to us in August this year.
has proven both productive and enjoyable. He is a great
traditionalist and has made many outstanding wines in the      Rob Hall continues to do a great job in the winery not only
past, some of which he shipped over for the purpose of         by guiding and controlling the wine-making process but
sharing them with us. He also shipped over a package of        also by creating and maintaining close links with what is
cheese which had been opened by our customs and                going on in the vineyard. This ensures that the most suitable

                                                                             M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 2 1
          fruit is available for wine making. Rob is multi-talented and    local industry over the years and has a broad range
          spends his leisure time hand crafting guitars and performing     of interests, we are looking forward to seeing what lies
          in a live band amongst other things. We are indeed very          ahead for him. With his personable nature and natural
          lucky that Rob shares with us the philosophy of making           curiosity surely there will be many options available to him.
          unadulterated wine produced by traditional methods with          We hope he will maintain his interest in Mount Mary and
          a minimum of fuss.                                               visit on a regular basis.

          Jamie McGlade came to us from Yering Station in August           Nick Coulthard oversees packaging, despatch,
          1999. With a background in Agricultural Science and              distribution and export. As the despatch area is destined
          Viticulture he has had a significant influence on the vineyard     to be incorporated into the new winery building, Nick
          at Mount Mary over the past eleven years and has been            has been closely associated with the design process.
          witness to significant change. A great lover of fine wine and      Nick has also recently been required to put his past
          an expert in the wines of the world, with his friendly nature,   vineyard experience into practice spending more time
          sense of humour and caring attitude he has been good             on the tractor. These days it seems necessary that staff
          company. Jamie is moving on to other things and we wish          are able to take on a variety of roles.
          him all the very best. He has made a lot of friends in the

P AG E 2 2 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 2 3
‘‘ my sincere
   thanks and
                                   Liz Williams remains the office manager ably assisted by
                                   Jane Whitechurch on Thursdays. Where would we be without
                                   these two ladies providing such a polite and helpful point of
                                                                                                   Mount Mary tasting experiences. These exchanges are
                                                                                                   valuable and help us to build an accurate picture of
                                                                                                   the wines through time. The majority of these contacts
appreciation for                   first contact and managing the ‘rush-hour’ with such calm?       are so positive and encouraging that we are in the process
   those of you                    John Boomsma stops the place from falling apart with his        of providing a spot for this material on the website.
who call during                    painstakingly careful maintenance work and Oliver Thomas        Perhaps this will take the form of an open forum for
                                   on Fridays never complains about the difficulty or the length    members. Already some of these communications are up on
the year to share                                                                                  our “Wall of fame” in the winery which you can peruse when
                                   of the tasks put in front of him.
  recent Mount                                                                                     you visit in May. Perhaps the most moving communication
  Mary tasting        ‘‘           This vintage we have also had the pleasure of the company       this year was from some of Mount Mary’s original ‘friends’
                                                                                                   who rang recently to express how much they had enjoyed
   experiences.                    of Brett Paulin whose late father, David, was our much loved
                                   electrician. Brett is off overseas for a few months and we      one of our older red wines. At a time of great sadness the
                                   wish him well on his journey and a safe return.                 enjoyment of an old Mount Mary still managed to provide
                                                                                                   them with a moment of some comfort and joy. That, more
                                   Finally I wish to add my sincere thanks and appreciation        than anything, encapsulates our sense of purpose and the
                                   for those of you who call during the year to share recent       reason we continue to do what we do.

P AG E 2 4 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
We look forward to catching up with you again this
year, 12 months seems far too long. Until then,
health, happiness and moderation to you all.
Most of all enjoy the wines.

David, The Middleton family
and the team at Mount Mary.

                                                     M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R | P AG E 2 5
          The 2008 vintage was warm and humid in            2005 & 2006 Quintet
          late spring and early summer (2007), leading      The 2006 Quintet hasn’t changed much                   three barrels we tested this out with 18 months
          to disease pressure not seen in the Valley for    since release, it is still very elegant and            contact instead of the usual 11 months. The wine
          some time. From January (2008) the weather        full of youthful flavours.                              chosen for this was 2/3 from the original plantings
          became milder and drier, perfect conditions                                                              (planted 1972) and 1/3 from our second block
          for a favourable veraison and ripening, until a   The 2005 was quite tightly structured and tannic       (planted 1979/1982). The individual barrels chosen
          heatwave which arrived in the middle of March.    on release, reflecting the vintage from which it        matched John’s stated ideals as closely as possible.
                                                            came. It was a pleasant surprise to see it really      The wine was not fined, and was lightly filtered prior
          We lost some Chardonnay to powdery mildew,        starting to add some flesh to the bones, as             to bottling.
          some meticulous sorting in the vineyard kept      well as some beautiful aromas which were less
          the damaged fruit away from the crusher.          pronounced a couple of years ago.                      Aromas of cashew, stone-fruit and almond
          All varieties beside Petit verdot, and some                                                              meal are complemented with subtle struck flint.
          of our Cabernet sauvignon were picked             2006 Dr. John Chardonnay Alc 13.5%                     The palate is well balanced with fine acidity and
          before the heatwave in March, and so, aside       A tribute to John Middleton, his achievements, ideas   persistent flavour. It will be difficult with such small
          from some losses, the 2008 vintage turned         and ideals. John occasionally considered what effect   quantities, but try to avoid opening it too early.
          out to be favourable, characterised               more time in oak would have on our Chardonnay.         We will keep the faithful informed of how this wine
          by very powerful whites.                          Unfortunately he didn’t get to find out. With these     is ageing via the website and newsletter.

P AG E 2 6 | M O U N T M A RY – N E W S L E T T E R
2007 Pinot noir Alc 12.8%                                 2008 Triolet                                           2008 Chardonnay Alc 13.6%
This Pinot, made from secondary fruit, shows              68% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Semillon,                     The 2008 Chardonnay has aromas of oatmeal,
some mint and stalk aromas (despite no stalks in          7% Muscadelle, Alc 12.9%                               stone-fruit, spice and nuts. Some barrel-derived
the ferment), and shows some more developed               This Triolet opens with complex aromas of orange       aromas are still evident, but well integrated.
flavours than we would expect to see at release.           peel, gooseberry, straw and stone-fruits. There        The palate is rich, creamy and long, underpinned
It lacks the roundness to be considered a proper          are some background sulphides which add to the         by powerful phenolics, which we believe is the
Mount Mary but it is nice drinking at the price!                                                                 most important factor for longevity of white wines,
                                                          complexity. In the mouth there is a strong phenolic
                                                                                                                 certainly far more so than acidity. Once again,
                                                          presence, somewhat reminiscent of good Riesling
2007 Quintet                                                                                                     10 years or more in bottle (under good cellar
                                                          (but without the pronounced acidity), balanced by
67% Cabernet sauvignon, 15% Cabernet franc,                                                                      conditions) will deliver great rewards for patient
                                                          wonderful richness. The Triolet is always great with
10% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, Alc 13.1%                                                                wine lovers.
                                                          food and this example is certainly no exception.
The dominance of Cabernet sauvignon in the blend is
                                                          Those patient enough hold on to this for more
                                                          Those patient enough to hold on to t is for more
                                                                  patie enou                         o
evident, there is some cassis and cedar. On the palate
                                                          than 10 years will be re
                                                          th       year
                                                                    ears                          efforts.
                                                          than 10 years will rewarded for their efforts.
tannin dominates. It tastes as though it has come from
a hotter climate. 2007 was a very hot and dry vintage,
the wine is certainly in keeping with this. Nice enough
wine, but not in keeping with typical Quintet.
          P O B O X 6 2 6 L I LY D A L E , V I C , 3 1 4 0
PH +61 3 9739 1761        E M A I L : i n f o @ m o u n t m a r y. c o m . a u
               w w w. m o u n t m a r y. c o m . a u


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