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History

Mount Mary is a family owned, single vineyard estate located in the heart of the Yarra Valley. The region is in the south-eastern corner of Australia, east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria. Established in 1971 by John and Marli Middleton, Mount Mary was one of the first vineyards planted in the resurgence of the Yarra Valley as a premium wine producing region.

The inspiration behind the planting of vines in the Yarra Valley came from the Swiss settlers of the 1850’s. These worldly and hard working immigrants had been greatly influenced by the French wine producers and recognised the climatic parallels the Yarra Valley shared with Bordeaux and Burgundy.

 

In the 1960′s John and Marli Middleton, driven by a passion for fine table wine, made many visits to the wine producing regions of the world and in particular, to Bordeaux and Burgundy. They soon became hooked on French premium wines and the thought of producing something similar in Australia in the footsteps of the Swiss. They resolved to find a suitable site upon which to establish a small commercial vineyard with the intention of making elegant, low alcohol wines from French varieties. John was driven by an idea put in his head by Colin Preece, Senior Winemaker at Seppelts Great Western, that Australia was yet to produce a refined and elegant Cabernet. John saw it as his duty to work towards this.

And so it was that in 1971, John and Marli stumbled upon the property known as Mount Mary. Surprisingly, this ideally located, gentle north facing slope had not been planted to the vine yet they immediately recognised it as being ideal for their purpose. The first plantings were completed by mid 1972 and today Mount Mary has around 40 acres under vine representing 18 varieties.

 

The four wines produced by Mount Mary come from 10 of those varieties. Two are based on Bordeaux blends and two are Burgundy varietals. The remaining 8 grapes are part of our ongoing investigation of new wines from French regions.

Mount Mary has established a dedicated clientele of private mailing list customers and has a national distributor to selected restaurants and retail outlets. We place great importance on consistency of style and quality as well as shying away from public exposure and promotion. We have always preferred to let the wines do the talking.

 

 

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Vineyards

More than half the land area of Mount Mary is not directly related to wine production. The health of our property is of primary concern and we have the long term objective of being self-sufficient in energy and water. We are also keen to limit our impact on the environment through revegetation and weed control. Despite the many challenges that have been presented to us over the past few years, progress towards our environmental goals continues. Whilst we still have a long way to go in terms of becoming the ideal environmentally aware organisaton, we have continued with our planting program and our water and energy system designs. This year work has begun on the reticulation of our harvested water supplies, the modernisation of our winery wastewater management and the energy efficiency of our winery. Our revegetation areas are already attracting increased numbers of native birds and our Snow Gum conservation area is looking good. We are continuing with our program of collecting a variety of native seed for propagation.

 

In the past two years we have been fortunate to be a part of Melbourne Water’s Stream Frontage program. Although both drought and flood have played a part in limiting the establishment of young plants, we will continue to work on these areas. Also on the agenda is the completion of our gully wetland project.

The ultimate goal of our environmental works is to be energy and water efficient, relying less on outside supply, to provide additional habitat for native species, and to limit our negative impacts by containing and treating waste products on site. Renewable power, water collection and recycling, and redesigned facilities are at the centre of these improvements.

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Winemaking

The four Mount Mary Vineyard estate wines are super premium hand crafted wines produced in limited quantities. They are the result of the season and the vineyard in which they were grown and therefore have a sense of time and place. Enjoy these wines with good food and special friends.

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Inside information

Although we are not certified biodynamic or organic we have a very keen interest in soil health and improving the environment around us. We are striving for a sustainable and robust viticultural system to ensure the long term future of our site and the continual evolution of our wines. To help with this vision we adopt many viticultural practices, which include spreading compost in order to manipulate the soil microbiology and increase soil organic matter, along with spreading small amounts of organic fertilisers, and in some blocks mulching undervine with straw to increase soil water retention.

 

We like to minimize the use of machinery in our vineyard in order to reduce the amount of soil compaction within the vine row. Cover crops are sown down every alternate row which helps to increase soil organic matter, improve soil structure and provide a home for the many beneficial insects which play an important role in pest management. We continue to strive towards a spray program which only involves chemical use when absolutely necessary. We do these things to ensure a healthy, sustainable environment rather than creating fodder for the marketing department.

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Erin Larkin, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  7 wines  from  Mount Mary Vineyard . In a tasting of  14 wines 

SPANNING 41 YEARS OF MOUNT MARY (AND FRIENDS)
 Well I can say for certainty, this isn’t a common tasting to be invited too… and what a privilege it was.  I worked hard to assimilate some kind of cohesion on my notebook, but we are all very lucky I applied myself as well as I did, because the wines were distracting to say the least.  The notes below are as I wrote them last night.  I have been honest in my guesses – both right and wrong – and have recorded closures and points.


The host, Bob, had worked with Sam Middleton (Mount Mary) over the past couple of weeks to single out the best vintages to show on the evening, and Bob then matched to them, to some (very) interesting Western Australian and American examples, for context.


All wines purchased on release and stored in a subterranean temperature-controlled cellar from purchase.  Served blind, in brackets of two, except where stated.

9m 14d ago

 Erin Larkin, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mount Mary Vineyard . In a tasting of  14 wines 

CHATEAU MARGAUX 2017 / 89% cabernet sauvignon, 8% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot/ 100% new oak. Red currants, succulent and intense, also sweet… great harmony and choral resonance… I realise I’ve drifted off in my own thoughts with this wine… the flavour lingers so. This is BDX, it is the best wine we’ve had today (this week/month etc) and it is the reason why we seek to make and drink better wine. Holy crapola.

10m 24d ago

 Jeremy Oliver, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mount Mary Vineyard . In a tasting of  15 wines 

Penfolds Bin 111A Shiraz 2016 (Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, $1500, 14.5%) A deep, alluring perfume of dark berries, cassis and dark plums knit with smoky, tight-gained French oak slowly unfolds meaty, chocolatey and ferrous undertones backed by suggestions of mint and iodide. Underpinned by a textural, gravelly spine, its layered, densely packed palate of black, red and blue fruits extends with energy, harmony and style towards a measured, lingering finish. There’s an underlying hint of dark chocolate and roasting tray. It will age slowly, developing remarkable grace and elegance.      
 
19.5/20, 98/100, drink 2046-2056+

2y 9m ago

 Jamie Goode, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mount Mary Vineyard . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Seppeltsfield Para Tawny 1884 Barossa, Australia. Seppeltsfield have an unbroken line of tawny ports in bottle from 1878-2012. Amazingly intense nose of treacle, spice, raisin, balsamic vinegar. Viscous and amazingly concentrated. Powerful, spicy flavours with treacle, molasses, raisins and stunning acidity. Some crème brulee too.  A remarkable experience. 98/100

2y 10m ago

 Jeremy Oliver, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Mount Mary Vineyard . In a tasting of  10 wines 

Penfolds Grange 2014 / 96 points / Sumptuous, smooth and measured; deep dark black, blue and red fruits with leathery, cedary notes, firm pliant tannins and meaty undertones of roasting tray juices. It’s perfumed and spicy, with almost a durif-like wildness and a drying, kernelly finish. It’s an elegant, finer Grange with tight-knit oak that slowly unfolds in the glass, finishing with drive and effortlesslength.                   

3y 8m ago

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