Mount Mary – 2015 Release From An Australian Great
Along with Yarra Yering & Yeringberg, Mount Mary is one of the pioneers of the Yarra Valley Renaissance. Their wines have a degree of sophistication, grace, complexity and depth of flavour that is always enticing!
Mount Mary is a landmark estate not just of the Yarra Valley but of Australian wine history. In 1971 Dr John Middleton homed in on a site that could grow great wine, and identified a style that suited that site – and that people loved to drink, collect and share.
Before turning to winemaking he practiced medicine and worked on occassion with my Dad. In the early days his wines were perhaps less enticing than they are today. It didn’t take long for him to turn things around, and, for decades now Mount Mary has been producing benchmark Australian and world wine.
The Middleton family has steadfastly stuck to its regiment of individuality and unimpeachable quality through decades of purposeful, visionary hard work. It’s not right to say the reputation has endured; it has advanced.
This isn’t an estate of the past – it’s one of the here and now, and of the future. The ongoing work they are investing in developing there vineyards, discovering new clonal and rootstock combinations to combat phylloxera is at the forefront of efforts in the Yarra Valley.
The 2015 Yarra Vintage
There is no doubting 2015 was an absolute belter for the Yarra Valley. Near perfect condition saw stunning wines made across all varieties.
Phylloxera in the Yarra Valley
Over the last 20 years phylloxera has been spreading through the Yarra Valley. The pesky root aphid kills vines planted on their own roots, not using a rootstock resistant to the bug, no matter how established they are.
Mount Mary, like so many others, has not been immune to the pest. You’ll see replanting taking place across the Yarra Valley in the coming years. This will reset the clock, and, those beautiful old vines will be ripped out piled high and burnt in a massive bonfires that will bring a tear to the eye.
End result you’ll see average vine age drop and the depth, length, and, sophistication of flavours and tannins reduce. It’s just the way it is.
Having spoken to Sam, it’s clear Mount Mary are taking a proactive approach, trialling an array of rootstocks and clones to replace the old vines when they’re ready to make the move.
My advice bag some of the old vine gear while you can.