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Introducing Mordrelle Blanc de Blancs Adelaide Hills

Langton’s Domestic Buyer Justin Lane introduces us to a very special project near his home in the Adelaide Hills. Winemaker Martin Moran’s story and wines are worthy of attention, as they are quietly challenging that ‘undisputed’ title held in by Tasmania for fine fizz. Extended lees ageing may grab the headlines but it is just the tip of the iceberg for the new darling of Adelaide Hills Sparkling Wine.

Discover Mordrelle Wines Now.

 

It is interesting to note that Martin’s cousin, Mariano Vignoni is the consultant winemaker for A Corazón Abierto Wines and worked alongside global winemaking icon Alberto Antonini. It was Mariano who introduced Martin to many of the great wines of Champagne in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, in Perdriel, in Luján de Cuyo, and Mendoza in Argentina.

 

‘...a wine journey that would bring him to Australia, just in time for harvest’
Martin studied oenology at the University of Mendoza with fellow student Sebastian Zuccardi, who, today, is the terroir-focus winemaker leading the Zuccardi dynasty. They were childhood friends. Martin recalls spending afternoons playing handball together. Martin seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers, Fioravante and Roberto, embarking in February 2007 upon a wine journey that would bring him to Australia, just in time for harvest.
Martin’s first job was at the Bleasdale winery (which needs no introduction at Langton’s) in Langhorne Creek where he stayed on to work multiple vintages followed by a short stint at the Bird in Hand winery in the Adelaide Hills. 
‘...the impacts of elevated temperature and late pruning for Barossa Shiraz which formed the basis of his PhD project.’ 
It was his appointment as Senior Research Officer for the Climate Application Group at the South Australian Research and Development Institute that provided Martin with an opportunity to build an intimate understanding of some of SA’s best-known wine regions and vineyards. Martin conducted many viticultural research projects such as the impacts of elevated temperature and late pruning for Barossa Shiraz which formed the basis of his PhD project.
Martin shared the prestigious honour of being awarded the co-author of the best viticultural paper published in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research.
In 2010, Martin's wine journey took a slightly different turn as he produced his own wine—sparkling wine made from 100% Lenswood Chardonnay (of Shaw and Smith fame).
On the road to Mordrelle

On the road to Mordrelle

 

With the help of his partner (and soon to be his wife), Martin crafted a small volume (1000 bottles) of bottle-fermented late disgorged sparkling wine made using the same traditional methods as used by the great houses of Champagne.
For the next three vintages, Martin and Michelle worked on establishing Mordrelle wines which they operate out of the tin shed winery dug into the hillside of the family property on the outskirts of the sleepy Adelaide Hills village of Mylor.
‘...Mordrelle continues to age a portion of their sparkling wines for up to 10 years on fine lees before disgorgement.’
After more than a decade since their first vintage, Mordrelle continues to age a portion of their sparkling wines for up to 10 years on fine lees before disgorgement. Martin uses the old traditional method of disgorgement known as ‘disgorgement à la volée’ meaning to disgorge ‘with nerve’. This is a difficult and laborious process that requires great skill and experience because the wines are at a warmer temperature (no freezing the bottleneck) and the potential for loss of wine and CO2 is far greater.
‘disgorgement à la volée’ - a little flair from Martin Moran

‘disgorgement à la volée’ - a little flair from Martin Moran

The focus of the winery is pure expressions of Chardonnay and Malbec. All the wines are made with firm structures that keep the fruit tightly wound. The wines require an extended period of ageing prior to release, their current release Chardonnay is from the 2017 vintage and the Blanc de Blanc is from the 2016 vintage.

2016 Mordrelle Blanc de Blanc, Adelaide Hills, South Australia.

 

Hand-picked, 100% Chardonnay from Lenswood, The wine is painstakingly made in the traditional method of Champagne. Aged on lees for up to five years before being disgorged using the ancient method of ‘disgorgement à la volée’ - with nerve! The wine is super rich and complex (Aussie Krug, anyone?). Roasted pine nuts, toasty citrus and brioche with a very fine bead of bubbles.
‘Mordrelle cleaned up at the Adelaide Hills Wine Show winning two trophies: ‘Best Sparkling Wine’ and ‘Best Single Vineyard Wine’, proving what we already knew, that Mordrelle is making some profound wines at affordable prices.’ - Jeremy Prideaux.
Winner of Best Sparkling and Best Single Vineyard Wine 2021 Adelaide Hills Wine Show. Martin Moran’s Mordrelle wines are just beautiful outside and in.

 

Further Reading

Discover Capanna Brunello di Montalcino

Discover Capanna Brunello di Montalcino

Langton’s Head of International Buying Jesper Kjaersgaard writes about his Italian wine buying trip.

Discover Burgundy Henri Magnien

Discover Burgundy Henri Magnien

Read more about why Henri Magnien was the ‘must visit’ producer in Gevrey-Chambertin.

Discover Misha's Vineyard

Discover Misha's Vineyard

This New Zealand winery is creating exquisite Central Otago wines with a ‘no compromise’ approach.

ABN: 77 159 767 843. New South Wales: Liquor Act 2007. No Alcohol can be sold or supplied to anyone under 18. It's against the law. License Number: LIQP770010303 Victoria: WARNING - Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998, it is an offence: To supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years [Penalty exceeds $19,000]; For a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor [Penalty exceeds $800]. License Number: 32055289