The odd couple – Australia’s Egon Müller Kanta Riesling & Moss Wood Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir

Yes, no mistakes there. Egon Müller, the German Riesling supremo is making Riesling in Australia’s  Adelaide Hills and Western Australia’s iconic Margaret River producer Moss Wood has gone east to make Pinot Noir in Mornington Peninsula’s cooler climes.  I tasted both last month at the Specialist Importer (trade) tasting.

Egon Müller Kanta Riesling 2008, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
– Müller has been making Riesliing in the Adelaide Hills since 2005 and this is no Müller-lite.  Though dry, a European approach to winemaking means it’s far removed from Australia’s traditional whistle-clean, sometimes austere, citrus-dominated style. A natural ferment and lees-ageing make for a rich texture which sits well with its ripe orchard fruits and tropical papaya.   Ample underlying acidity accounts for a long, rolling finish.  Contact Top Selection for details of UK stockists.

Moss Wood Pinot Noir 2008, Mornington Peninsula, Australia
– what is it about Moss Wood and Pinot Noir?  Moss Wood’s founder Bill Pannell headed south to Pemberton in Western Australia in search of great Pinot Noir territory (see my Picardy tasting notes here) and now his successors, Keith and Clare Mugford, have gone much farther afield (around 3000km) in their quest for great Pinot. Fruit is sourced from a contract vineyard which is supervised by Moss Wood and the wine is made in Mornington Peninsula – no trucking here.  This, the maiden vintage, is several notches up on Moss Wood’s Margaret River Pinot Noir, with greater freshness, spice and a fine spine of tannin – qualities I really savour in Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noirs (see recent tasting notes here).   You can find out more about the project here but, as Moss Wood succinctly put it, “Moss Wood [in Wilyabrup, Margaret River] at around 34 degrees south latitude is warm enough to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas Dromana [in Mornington Peninsula], at around 38 degrees is only warm enough to ripen Pinot Noir.”
Contact Laytons for details of UK stockists.