Mount Macleod is the second label of the Burgundian inspired Caledonia Australis. This small family-owned estate has several vineyards located near Leongatha, a small town 135km southeast of Melbourne, about halfway to Wilsons Promontory. Despite the land around Leongatha being well-suited to growing top Chardonnay and Pinot (the iconic Bass Phillip winery is just south of the town) there are relatively few estates in the area.
The vineyards of Mount Macleod lie within one of Australia's largest, but least known wine regions - Gippsland. It's a massive area, covering a large part of the southeast of Victoria. It extends from Philip Island down to Wilsons Promontory, then all the way up the coast to the border with NSW and inland as far as the Great Dividing Range. The region is further divided into East, West and South Gippsland, within which you’ll find Leongatha. The region is renowned for Pinot Noir, with James Halliday describing it as “one of the southern Victorian regions to have unequivocally proved its worth.” Gippsland is dominated by small, often family-owned wineries.
The Mount Macleod vineyards were planted in the early 90s by a group that included Phillip Jones of Bass Phillip and Martin Williams MW. The current owners, Mark and Marianna Matthews, acquired the estate in 2008-09 and converted to organic viticultural practices. There are three Mount Macleod vineyards, situated on ideal free-draining, high ironstone soils with pebbling throughout.
As expected for a wine of this price, the fruit for the Mount Macleod Pinot was picked by machine in the cool of the night. What's not expected is that fermentation was carried out using natural rather than cultured yeasts. Post ferment, the wine spent 12-16 months in a mixture of stainless steel (to retain freshness) and old wooden barrels which previously housed the Caledonia Australis Pinot.
"It's a silky Pinot with a fleshy, textural palate and a heady mix of red fruit, loads of spice and forest-floor savouriness. The value speaks for itself." Bibendum Wine Co.