The Kooyong vineyard is located on the Mornington Peninsula at Tuerong, on Miocene sedimentary soils. Their wines are made from domain grown, handpicked grapes and aim to manifest terroir: the integration of the geology and soils with the macroclimate of the region, the mesoclimates of the various sites within the vineyard and the weather of the annual grape growing season. Kooyong's cultural operations in the vineyard and practices in the winery endeavour to articulate these unique characteristics diligently, respectfully and without artifice.
The 2018 Kooyong Clonale is a blend of Chardonnay from the Tuerong and Balnarring vineyards.
The grapes were gently whole-bunch pressed directly into French oak barriques (of which 7% were new), where fermentation commenced spontaneously with ambient yeasts. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on lees (without battonage) for nine months. The wine was bottled without fining and with minimal filtration.
Attractive citrus scents combine with blossoming white flowers and honeysuckle on the nose. Fresh mandarin and ginger spice dominate the palate with lemon pith, white nectarine and toasted cashew. The briny acidity provides a linear freshness resulting in excellent length and a chalky texture.
Kooyong means 'where the wild fowl gather' and was so named as the property neighbours Devilbend Reserve, a home for many local waterbirds. The Kooyong vineyard itself was first established in 1995, with some 30 hectares planted to a mixture of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Within the greater vineyard there are five distinct vineyards of which three are planted to Pinot Noir, two predominantly to Chardonnay, and a small section of Pinot Gris and Viognier. The winemaking at Kooyong Estate is taken care of by the extremely talented - and highly regarded - Sandro Mosele, a former geneticist and scientist who has been the Chief Winemaker since 1996. Sandro also makes the wines for the Gjergia families other property, Port Phillip Estate, with both sharing one of the most modern - and spectacular - cellar doors on the Peninsula. The Kooyong operation is unashamedly focused on single vineyard wines, utilising the different slopes, soils and microclimates to produce individual wines of distinction. The range includes Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Viognier, with the wines offered on three different tiers - from the entry level Clonale and Massale wines right through to the 'single vineyard' Ferrous, Haven, Meres, Faultline and Farrago wines.
Medium to light yellow colour, with a nectarine and apricot aroma, and a slight nutty overlay. A very pleasant lighter, less-expensive chardonnay, which has some grown-up chardonnay character including hints of honey and butter. The palate is soft and round, ample and finishes with respectable length. Good value.