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Mount Mary



When he named Mount Mary his 2018 Winery of the Year, James Halliday was clear: ‘…its star shines brighter than that of any of the 174 wineries in the Yarra Valley.’

Mount Mary’s wines had an enormous impact right from the beginning.

John Middleton, inspired by Bordeaux and Burgundy, argued forcefully that Australian wines – especially red wines – did not have to be big to be beautiful.

He founded Mount Mary in 1971 and by the mid-1980s was consistently producing wines that proved his point.

At the same time he was adding strength and substance to the experiment that was then Australian Pinot Noir. As Halliday says:

‘A single word cannot possibly do justice to Mount Mary’s Quintet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Triolet. But they are joined at the hip by elegance. By all means add balance, purity and length, and as a codicil add longevity…’

Three of these four ‘masterworks’ (as Halliday calls them) quickly gained such a dedicated following that they shouldered their way into the inaugural Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine in 1990 and have never been dislodged.

Many no doubt feared the venture might not survive the 2006 death of its founder, but today Mount Mary is stronger than ever – and remains in family hands, with Middleton’s son David and granddaughter Claire running the business and grandson Sam in charge of the winery.

For Sam Middleton, his grandfather’s passionate search for perfection was an inspiration in itself.

‘Wine’s that ever-changing thing… You can never nail that absolute best wine… There’s always something you can improve on… Seasonal variations and weather conditions are always getting in the way of your ideals… You can always make a better wine.’

For The Wine Front’s Gary Walsh...

‘Mount Mary is one of the great wineries of Australia, and has been for decades, but I’m pretty certain in the view that it is in the form of its life. The Mount Mary wines have never looked better.’

Walsh rates the 2015 Quintet a 97+ against Halliday’s plain old 97. This might not seem a big difference, but it is noteworthy given the ever-upward ‘creep’ of wine scores that The Wine Front so actively resists.

The 2015 Mount Mary Pinot gets a 99 from Halliday along with his Pinot Noir of the Year award.

Walsh rates it at 97, but his praise of the wine is unstinting…
‘It’s pure, tight, bright and undergrowthy at once; it bristles with spice, woodsmoke and mineral; it flashes red berries and red roses as it soars through the finish. The acid and tannin profile of this wine puts on a masterclass on structure… spectacular.’

See our full portfolio from the Winery of the Year HERE.

Mount Mary Quintet Cabernet Blend Yarra Valley 2015


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