Saturday, 16 January 2016

Curly Flat Cellar Door

An impromptu visit to Curly Flat.


16 January 2016


At Curly flat, its all about the vineyard....

The Curly Flat vineyard

Lifted from the Curly Flat website-

'The vineyard is acknowledged as the greatest influence on wine quality and it's here that most of the work and thought are focused.  The desire to be connected to the whole process of growing wines drives the decision to be a single vineyard producer.The first vines were planted in 1991 but problems with clonal identification and quality of planting material resulted in these vines being removed.  The hard work of planting was repeated in 1992. Subsequent plantings (1993 to 2000) have seen the vineyard grow to 14 hectares (33 acres). The majority of the area is planted to Pinot Noir (69%), with Chardonnay (26%), and a small area of Pinot Gris (5%).Multiple clones are used - for Pinot Noir they are 114, 115, MV6 and some Mariafeld and D5V12 - while for Chardonnay they are P58, I10V1, I10V3 & I10V5.  This clonal spread adds some complexity to each variety.The trellis is horizontally divided - mostly the Lyre trellis system but with some Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) - both use two walls of foliage resulting in a greater surface area for sunlight interception and heat penetration, increased airflow, less crowding within the canopy and lower disease pressure.The above photo is a profile of the Lyre Trellis divided canopy. The double wall of foliage & the space between increases sunlight pick up, UV penetration & airflow through the canopy. This combination naturally reduces disease, maintains vine health & maximises fruit quality.Our farming practices started along the sustainable agricultural model, and we're moving further down that road by firstly ceasing to use herbicides (6 years ago now) and have seen a marked improvement in the soil micro fauna and the resulting increase in organic matter is staggering and bodes well for a healthy future for our vines.'


Curly Flat cellar door

It's not often you have a member of the vineyard team take you through a cellar door tasting. We were fortunate enough to have Damien take us through the line up. It was great to have someone with his expertise provide an insight on the effect of the vineyard on these wines.

A note on the Curly Flat declassification system. The Curly Flat wine team (and invited consultants) process each vineyard separately in the winery. On completion, before final blending, each barrel is tasted individually. All wines are tasted blind, to avoid confirmation bias, and a predetermined score is used to rate the wines. Those that make the grade become Curly Flat. Those that fall short are declassified and used for the Williams Crossing label.

2015 Curly Flat Pinot Gris


Confectionary and white stone fruits on the nose. Lingering sweet spices.

A well balanced palate. A clean mouth feel with a lingering finish. Citrus, nectarines and sweet spices are the dominate flavours.

A well made wine without fault. True to type.

2013 Williams Crossing Chardonnay


Light straw.

Classic chardonnay fruit on the nose. Peaches, nectarine and only slight vanilla cream.

Well balanced on the palate. A lingering finish. Entirely fruit driven with only a hint of texture from oak.

Approachable, refined and elegant.

2013 Curly Flat Chardonnay


Straw to light yellow.

Peaches, nectarine and honey on the nose. Vanilla and toast indicate the heavier use of oak.

On the palate is a repeat of stone fruit, white peach and vanilla. A velvet mouthfeel with a long finish and bracing acidity.

Every aspect of this wine expresses quality. It just does not seem integrated. The parts are all there in abundance however it is somewhat disjointed for now.

In a few years this wine will be exceptional.

2011 Curly Flat Pinot Noir


This wine came from a particularly difficult vintage. Panned by local critics the wine went on to win Decanter Pinot Noir of the year in 2015.

Light red in colour.

Roses and strawberries. Savoury spices, forrest floor and all manner of things I can't define. Thought provoking and impossible to pin down.

It's the same on the palate. Savoury and elusive. Balanced and elegant with a long finish.

Very little primary fruit yet remains complex and elegant. It does appear to be ageing prematurely however. I can't see it lasting past 2020.

2013 Williams Crossing Pinot Noir


Bright purple.

All cherries, and dark fruits on the nose. Subtle chocolate and soil.

Well balanced. Fruit forward and lingering tannins. Full bodied with a lingering finish.

An excellent wine that is punching well above its weight. After a series of disappointing pinot noir's on the Mornington this was a refreshing change.

True to type and very well made.

2013 Curly Flat Pinot Noir


Bright purple.

A step up in intensity from the Williams Crossing.

The same dark fruits. Cherries and mocha. Crushed herbs and and hints spicy meats. The more you stick your nose in this wine the more you discover.

Excellent balance on the palate. Fruit and spices and great oak integration. Great mouthfeel, well integrated tannins and an exceptionally long finish.

This is an excellent age worth wine. A classic example of Pinot with quality ageing potential.


The Curly Flat vineyard at over 500m elevation enjoys a long cool ripening period. This combined with quality vineyard management results it excellent expressions of both pinot noir and chardonnay.

Mt Macedon could be the ideal site for pinot in Australia.




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