Wednesday Wines – Episode 37

Episode 37 – 9th December 2020

Please welcome Scorpo wines to our shores!  I have known Paul and Caroline Scorpo and their stunning Mornington Peninsula wines for well over a decade.  I wrote about two of the 2006 vintage whites in my book Taste Food & Wine 2008, which was published in Australia back in 2007, and since then I have tracked every release very closely indeed.  This is one of the finest wineries in the unique, boutique wine region, Mornington Peninsula, which has become world-famous thanks to its ultra-fine Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.  An expert in these two Burgundian varieties, Scorpo wines are sensual, balanced, graceful and detailed and I am over the moon that they are now available in the UK thanks to the finely-tuned palates at Haynes Hanson & Clark.

2018 Scorpo, Aubaine Chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia (£19.75, reduced to £17.00 each buy the case, Haynes, Hanson & Clark tel. 020 7584 7927 & www.hhandc.co.uk).

Goodness me this is a sensational wine and it is amazing that we can buy an elite-level Chardonnay, from the other side of the world, for the same price as a cheeky Mâcon Blanc.  This superb wine is a thrilling amalgam of chilly acidity coupled with hints of dazzling sunshine.  While this is a warm region, it is surrounded by ice-cold ocean on two sides and so while the fruit is ripe there is no noticeable ‘heat’ in Aubaine and this makes it a stunning conundrum of freshness, lush fruit notes and epic balance.  With faint greengage and pineapple husk hints over a raw citrus pith core, it’s like a Saint-Aubin Blanc was given a jolt of electricity to wake it from its slumber!  With energy and drive this is a Chardonnay which will amaze all lovers of this grape with its flavours and irresistible price tag.

2019 Scorpo, Noirien Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia (£19.75, reduced to £17.00 each buy the case, Haynes, Hanson & Clark tel. 020 7584 7927 & www.hhandc.co.uk).

Noirien is an ancient word, dating back some 800 years, for the Pinot Noir grape variety.  But on one sniff you will discover that there is nothing remotely ancient about the fabulous nose on this dynamic wine.  Pale in colour, bursting with wild cherry and rosehip notes, this is a keen-edged, refreshing and extraordinarily rewarding wine and it, like its Aubaine Sibling, shows that you can find amazing value, even in the chichi surrounds of Mornington, if you work extremely hard and keep your standards sky-high.   I opened this wine for a corporate Zoom event last week with a dozen or so tasters and the ‘thumbs-up’ approval was unanimous!

2018 Scorpo, Estate Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia (£32.45, reduced to £27.00 each buy the case, Haynes, Hanson & Clark tel. 020 7584 7927 & www.hhandc.co.uk).

At the top of the tree sits this lusty estate Pinot Noir and it is a deeper, more exotically proportioned number than Noirien with a more sonorous nose and more richness and length throughout the experience.  One could say that this is the Premier Cru in the trio and yet the price is, once again, amazingly fair.  Controlled and balanced this is a regal Pinot with amazing poise and I would love to hear feedback from drinkers who pitch this, ‘blind’ against mighty Burgundies because I can guarantee that people will be expecting a much loftier price tag and perhaps a very different postcode!  It is no surprise that the HH&C team has not hesitated in snapping up this epic agency.  Given that HH&C represents Sam Neill’s Two Paddocks from New Zealand, these Scorpo wines form a very neat trans-Tasman pairing as they are very different in flavour, but every bit as engaging, delicious and professional in their delivery.