A ‘magical’ place
Main Ridge Estate is an ideal site for producing cool climate wines. Located at and altitude of 230 metres, the vineyard is one of the highest on the Mornington Peninsula. The estate is set on 4.8 hectares, with 3 hectares under vine. The rich volcanic soil and deep-rooted mature vines ensure no irrigation is required. The north facing vineyards slope gently down from William Road, sheltered by mature stands of trees.
The 5,000 vines are approximately 50% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, with small number of Pinot Meunier and Merlot vines, which were planted progressively by Nat White from 1975.
Pinot NoirMain Ridge Estate makes two Pinot Noirs identically, each reflecting their terroir. ‘The Half Acre’ Pinot Noir is from the higher section of the vineyard with shallower soil, which produces smaller bunches of fruit and berries, and the greater skin to juice ratio results in a more intense tannic wine. ‘The Acre’ Pinot Noir is suitable for drinking when younger as the tannins are softer. Our Pinots show vibrant dark cherry fruit, spice, and an elegant soft palate of great intensity and length.
Six clones of Pinot Noir are planted in the vineyard to ensure complexity in the wine. These clones ripen at various times and picking is typically in April. Warm fermentations using natural yeast are carried out in 2,000 litre open vats, which are gently plunged by hand. Furthur maceration on skins precedes pressing. Ageing is for 18 months in French Oak barriques.
The Acre’ Pinot Noir 2016
Warmer conditions have produced a richer expression of The Acre block. Aromatics remain true though; raspberry, young cherry, mint and cedar.
Alcohol: 13.5%, PH: 3.54, TA: 6.0g/l
The Half Acre’ Pinot Noir 2016
Dark cherry, mocha and truffles are lifted by subtle orange blossom notes. A rich and complex palate is firmly bound by tannins.
Alcohol: 13.5%, PH: 3.52, TA: 6.15g/l
The Acre Pinot Noir 2015
The quality of The Acre block seems to improve each year and 2015 is no exception. Brightly fruited with fine tannins. Approachable in its youth, and could surprise in the cellar.
“It tastes of strawberries and red cherries, undergrowth aromatic herbs and spicy oak. It boasts terrific length. It lacks for nothing”.
Campbell Mattinson, 96 points
“Relatively light colour; perfectly ripened, fragrant and fresh fruits with spices just starting to show. Suffers only in comparision to the Half Acre (although it doesn’t always work out this way)”.
James Halliday, 95 points
Alcohol: 13.5%, PH: 3.54, TA: 6g/l
Half Acre Pinot Noir 2015
Picked late March, the warmer conditions provided darker and intense spiced cherry fruit. The firm tannins will soften with what again will be a wonderful wine for the cellar.
“…this rather delicate and pristine Pinot has all it needs to flesh out superbly over time.. It’s long and ethereal, unfolding layers of penetrative, impactful small fruits interwoven around a drying spine of tight knit tannins. Outstanding”.
Jeremy Oliver, 97 points
“This is deep-ish red-purple colour and lifted dark cherry, spice vanilla, oak and alcohol bouquet, with come confectionary notes. It’s firm and quite high in tannin, but promising much”.
Huon Hooke, 96 points
Alcohol: 13.5%, PH: 3.52, TA: 6.15g/l
ChardonnayOur chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented in new French oak barriques, lees stirred without sulphur dioxide for 11 months, with complete malo-lactic conversion. Natural yeasts are utilized to produce complex and individual wine. The resulting wine has a restrained fruit character combined with creamy vanilla and spice characters which carry a very persistent finish. It is designed to benefit from long cellaring.
With all fruit in before April, this was perhaps the earliest our Chardonnay has been picked. Soft stone fruits and sweet spices are balanced with a lifted citrus finish. A classic MRE Chardonnay.
“This has tremendous drive and complexity, but it is the length that takes it to the highest realm, and a long life”.
James Halliday, 2018, 97 points
“Pristine, stylish and finely crafted this long-term chardonnay is typically angular and fatty in its youth, but should age with grace and charm”.
Jeremy Oliver, 95 points
Alcohol: 13.5%, PH: 3.35, TA: 7.5g/l
Pinot MeunierPinot Meunier’s origins lie in Champagne, where it is commonly used for floral complexity in sparkling wines. Its purpose was to be used as this when first planted at Main Ridge Estate, if the climate proved to be unsuitably cold for table wine production. From our very first vintage we have instead been able to produce a unique expression of the varietal, as a table wine. Production is limited, 1 barrel, so the opening of one of these is always considered a special occasion.
Pinot Meunier 2015
Deceptively pale in colour, showing lingering aromatics of raspberry, rose and sweet earthy spices. Its luscious and generous mouth feel will remind you not to judge a book by its cover!
Alcohol: 13.5%, PH: 3.58, TA: 6.07g/l
MerlotWhilst uncommon on the Mornington Peninsula today, most early plantings in the region contained Merlot, alongside its usual partner Cabernet Sauvignon. Over time however, it was found the cooler climate and continual cloud cover made the region unsuitable for these varieties. Our Merlot always managed to achieve ripeness, albeit at a lower alcohol level than commonly seen in Australia, this delicate expression of the Merlot is more in line the wines of right bank of Bordeaux.
A cool climate merlot, offering pure cassis fruit at a surprisingly low alcohol level of 12.5%. Currently shows flinty, smoky flavours which will dissipate with age or decanting.
Alcohol: 12.5%, PH: 3.45, TA: 6.2g/l