2010 Mt. Franklin Estate Pinot Grigio

There has to be some magical ingredient in the volcanic soils at Mt. Franklin Estate that helps owner and winemaker Lesley McGillivray make such delicious wines. One of three Italian grape varieties produced at this boutique family-owned winery north of Daylesford, the 2010 Pinot Grigio vintage is a superb example of old world finesse blended with big Australian fruit flavours and spice. Fifteen years experience of growing the Grigio grape in this extraordinary terroir has enabled McGillivray to bottle such a delicious wine.    

One could reasonably argue that Pinot Grigio and its French counterpart Pinot Gris, has these days become a mainstream variety in Australia, grown in all states and virtually all regions. Both the Grigio and Gris grapes are the same variety, the difference lies in the style in which the wine is made despite the early ambiguity surrounding what label to use on what wine style. Speaking of labels, if there ever was a grape variety that demands closer scrutiny of a wine bottle's back label, it is this one. 

A grape variety of the species vitis vinifera, Pinot Grigio is believed to be a mutant clone of the Pinot Noir grape and takes its name from the French translation for 'pinot' meaning 'pine cone', a reference to the pine cone shaped clusters of the grapes. The variety usually thrives in cool climate regions such as in its north-eastern Italian heartland of Alto-Adige, Veneto and Friuli and judging by this regional Victorian interpretation, certainly delivers the goods in environs not too dissimilar. 

Pale straw yellow to the eye with a slight bronze tinge throughout due to the greyish-purple colour of the grapes. Subtle lifted aromas of pear, peach and floral blossom with a little citrus and mineral action permeating the nose. The first thing you notice on the palate is the wine's crisp, off dry style followed by the underlying savoury, mineral notes typical of the variety.  Texturally, the wine is silky smooth, slightly oily but enough steely acidity and pear, lychee and nutmeg flavours throughout to make this a well made, approachable wine with lovely balance and length.

Source: Winery Sample. Alcohol: 13.0%. Closure: Screwcap. Rating: 89 Points.

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