Tasting notes: Crittenden Estate, Mornington Peninsula »

Peninsula 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Fume) and Peninsula 2016 Pinot Noir

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Crittenden Peninsula Pinot Noir NV

Crittenden Peninsula Pinot Noir NV [©Crittenden Estate]

Crittenden Estate -Duncan and Fiona in the tasting room
The Crittenden family, Crittenden Estate in the Mornington Peninsula
Crittenden Estate -Wine centre
Crittenden Peninsula Pinot Noir NV and Sauvignon Blanc Fume


Crittenden Estate is one of the oldest iconic vineyards on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula and each one of the multi generational family is dedicated to small scale winemaking, creating quality cool climate wine with integrity, passion and honesty.

The range includes estate-grown, cool climate wines of Burgundian origin, as well as new and exciting Italian varietals and other regional classics from both the Mornington Peninsula and further afield from some of Victoria’s finest vineyards.

The unique custom built Crittenden Wine Centre has created an innovative way for those who enjoy wine to experience a selection of more than 25 wines. Product offerings include experimental, Spanish and Italian varietals as well as the more traditional wine, like pinot noir and chardonnay, that the Peninsula has become known for.

The introduction of the Peninsula range in many ways marks a new chapter in the Crittenden family’s 30 years of winemaking. Fruit for these particular wines has been sourced from independent Mornington Peninsula grape growers with whom Crittendens has a great respect and long standing relationship.

Here are tasting notes for the Peninsula 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Fume) and 2016 Pinot Noir: 

Peninsula 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Fume)

Winemaker's tasting notes: this Fumé Blanc style is a beguiling wine that brings a new dimension to Sauvignon in the Crittende wine line up. Essentially it seeks to capture a smoky minerality with both texture and length, and in our view succeeds. Due to the use of only 10% new oak barrels the wood component is so subdued that it simply provides a background note to a very complex wine.

Vintage: 2015 could almost be described as the perfect season! Long periods of cool dry weather were experienced right throughout summer with the noticeable absence of any potentially damaging heat spikes as seen in some recent years. Overcast conditions in January brought a degree of disease pressure [in the form of powdery mildew] however fastidious attention to detail by the vineyard crew ensured squeaky clean fruit was delivered to the winery right across the board.

Vineyard: the grapes were grown entirely in the Tuerong area of the Mornington Peninsula under contract for us. The naturally low yield from this block (around 2 tonnes per acre) helped contribute to the resultant wine with a level of complexity and concentration rarely seen in Sauvignon Blanc.

Winemaking: the grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the morning and quickly transported to the winery where the whole bunches were placed in the press without crushing or de stemming and the juice gently extracted. The juice was then chilled to 8C and stirred on a daily basis for 5 days to increase the textural mouth feel of the wine. After allowing to settle for 24 hours the semi clear juice was racked directly to a mixture of small and medium size barrels where the “natural” or “wild yeast” ferment was allowed to start spontaneously with a high degree of solids. To impart complexity into the wine the temperature was NOT controlled. Post ferment the wine was rested on lees in the same barriques and puncheons and the lees were periodically stirred back into the wine using the technique of “battonage”. About 20% of the blend was allowed to go through malolactic fermentation. The wine was assembled for bottling in Feb of 2016.

Alc/vol: 13.0%

RRP: A$30.00 bottle (direct from Crittenden)


2016 Pinot Noir

Winemaker's tasting notes: this wine walks the middle ground between being fruit driven and more complex and structured. Each of the contributing clones bring a unique character to the wine. Ideal ripening conditions and minimal yields have also contributed a level of complexity and a bright ruby red colour, which further enhance the length and ageability of the wine. The texture is rich and structured with soft tannins and a good acid finish.

Vintage:  2016 was a rare but welcome season with the desirable combination of both quality and quantity across most Victorian wine regions. Perfect flowering conditions in late spring helped cement a bountiful yield which was followed by a warm dry summer with virtually no disease pressure. So productive were many of our affiliated vineyards that judicious green fruit thinning was often required to ensure the retention of concentrated flavors in the finished wines.

Vineyard: just over half of the fruit component was grown on an ideal north facing slope in the Balnaring area of the Mornington Peninsula with the balance being sourced from a small westerly facing vineyard in the Main Ridge subregion. VSP trellising is standard across the two sites as well as the utilisation of sustainable farming techniques, which the Crittenden family firmly subscribes to.

Winemaking: the  grapes were hand harvested and immediately destemmed to small open fermenters without crushing. The must (juice, pulp, skins and seeds) were statically cooled to around 9 degrees Celsius and a protective CO2 layer was maintained to enable a “cold soak” for four or five days prior to the commencement of the ferment. Each individual fermenter was allowed to gradually warm to ambient temperature, where the natural (wild yeast) ferment could commence. The ferment temperature was allowed to reach 32 degrees Celsius and the wine was pressed off skins at dryness to a mixture of new and one and two year old French oak barrels. The malolactic ferment occurred naturally and was complete by mid winter.

Alc/vol: 13.2%

RRP: A$34.00 bottle (direct from Crittenden)


  • Mornington Peninsula (VIC)

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December 07th, 2016
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