Australia is blest with a great climate, that not only make it a fantastic place to live, but also means that our good wine makers can turn great wines year after year. Although we can expect a certain level of quality when we buy a known wine, on occasions the elements conspire to produce something extraordinary. Just such an example is the Massale Mornington Peninsula 2009 Pinot Noir produced by Sandro Mosele of Koyong Estate. Sandro creates great wines year to year, that while above my normal price threshold, really offer great value. His Massale Pinot Noir is such a wine. The 2007, 2008, and 2010 (current vintage) are all great examples of minimally oaked Mornington Peninsula pinots, but the 2009 is truly extraordinary. I managed to pick up a bottle on release and was blown away. By the time I headed back to buy more (two days later) the vintage had sold out. After cursing myself for not buying more when I had the chance, I tried to cheer myself up with the thought that at least I had got to try one bottle.
I recently managed to track down four bottle on the net and so had the chance to try it again. It certainly lived up to my memory with a concentration and balance that brought to mind that description of a great pinot as being a “iron fist in a velvet glove”. I have tried to find why Sandro managed to make such a great wine in 2009 and it appears that grape yield was well below average for this vintage. It seems to be a classic of example of quality being inversely proportional to production.