Paul Scorpo and CellarHand are delighted to announce that CellarHand will be the exclusive New South Wales and ACT distributor of the Scorpo wines as of Thursday, 1st August 2019.
We have long enjoyed a close friendship with Paul, whose wines have been an integral part of our Victorian portfolio since 2002. Throughout this time, Scorpo’s unwaveringly meticulous husbandry of an exceptional site in Merricks North has placed it firmly within the top echelon of Mornington Peninsula estates. The home vineyard rolls over red/brown, clay-rich soils derived from tertiary Eocene volcanics dating back about 40 million years. The vines are planted at an altitude between 70 and 100m on a north- to northeast-facing slope with a 10% gradient. It’s a brilliant suntrap with ideal airflow and drainage to slowly grow and ripen grapes. The celebrated Pinot Gris is planted both here and on the other side of the ridge – the southwest-facing slope exposed towards Port Phillip Bay.
The Mornington Peninsula is perhaps known for its conservatism, so it’s a credit to Paul that he has continued to drive things forward. In 2018 he acquired another piece of first-rate viticultural real estate in the guise of his Stanley’s Road vineyard. The mostly northeast-exposed site at 80m elevation has an excellent track record with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It will only get better at the hand of this trained horticulturist and landscape architect.
The Pinot Gris continues to be an Australian benchmark. It’s always been singled out for its texture and interest, balancing ripeness and weight with its cool-climate energy. But it’s indicative of Paul’s striving nature that this variety is given alternative, compelling voice in the extended skin-contact Bestia and late-harvest Pinsanto sticky.
Paul’s Aubaine and Noirien – the jump-in point respectively for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – shine year in, year out as elegant, characterful expressions of the region. Stepping up to estate level, the wines are immaculately composed; unflashy but self-assured and seamless. Once again, there are exciting developments here, with Eocene Chardonnay emerging as one of the pinnacle peninsula bottlings, while Paul’s high-density Pinot parcel proved its worth immediately with the 2017 debut. “The word stunning comes straight to mind,” Campbell Mattinson rhapsodised. “They’ve grown a wine and a half here.”
In short, Scorpo isn’t one to make a song and dance but has been producing a string of hits for years. The playlist has become more refined and diverse, and there is more brilliance to come. We’re rapt to be the ones bringing these wines to an ACT and NSW audience.
Charismatic expression here, full of detail and drinkability. Beautiful thing this.
– Mike Bennie on ’17 Gris
A treat in its style.
– Campbell Mattinson on ’17 Bestia
On song. Racy but fleshy and flavoursome… It works a treat.
– Campbell Mattinson on ’17 Aubaine Chardonnay
Juicy. Long. Pristine. It’s just beginning to spread it wings.
– Campbell Mattinson on ’17 Estate Chardonnay
When you combine fruit power with this kind of complexity, and add finesse to the equation, then you go straight into the elite class.
– Campbell Mattinson on ’15 Eocene Chardonnay
As fresh and it is silken, as seamless as it is delicious. Bravo. Price and quality are spot on.
– Campbell Mattinson on ’18 Noirien Pinot
Rich and svelte at once, its cherry-berried flavours, cedar wood and sweet spice notes entirely seductive both in isolation and in team.
– Campbell Mattinson on ’17 Estate Pinot
The word ‘stunning’ comes straight to mind. They’ve grown a wine and a half here.
– Campbell Mattinson on ’17 Eocene Pinot
It smells sensational, tastes it too.
– Campbell Mattinson on ’16 Shiraz
2016 Scorpo Pinot GrisRRP $37
Charismatic expression here, full of detail and drinkability. Scents of faint pear, mixed minerals, light honeyed toast, fresh and dried apple and citrus. Beautiful. Has a succulence in the palate, light chew, beautiful carriage of flavour and a long trail of minerally flavours follow the pear, faint nuttiness and appley things. Beautiful thing this. 94 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front April 2019
2017 Scorpo ‘Bestia’ Pinot Grigio RRP $43
50% whole bunches. 20 days on skins. Matured in old oak. It’s not unique but it’s not the norm for Mornington Peninsula pinot gris/grigio. Beautiful colour for starters. Deep russet-amber-crimson. Richly autumnal. It all goes from there. Flint, woodsmoke, graphite, potato skins, scorched dry pears, spice notes and no doubt more. Excellent intensity and the length to match. Skin-sy and stalky. A treat in its style. 94 points. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
2017 Scorpo Aubaine Chardonnay RRP $33
5% new oak, fermented wild in barrel, no battonage, no malo. On song. Racy but fleshy and flavoursome. Plenty of zip and a clear acid line, for sure, the ‘no malo’ aspect abundantly clear. But it works a treat. Green apple, honeysuckle, nectarine and citrus flavours shoot joyously through the palate. Wait another 6-12 months and it will be better again. Steely/chalky finish works well too. 93 points. – Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
2017 Scorpo Chardonnay RRP $51
This is essentially the ‘Estate’ release, and is something of a flagbearer chardonnay in the range as a result. Juicy. Long. Pristine. Fennel-infused. Pear-riven. All those things. It’s a lively, lifted, stylish chardonnay with bright barley-accented fruit, wheaty tones and a bit of crunch to its acidity. It’s just beginning to spread it wings. 94 points. – Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
2015 Scorpo Eocene Chardonnay RRP $57
When you combine fruit power with this kind of complexity, and add finesse to the equation, then you go straight into the elite class. This drives home its case with flavours of peach, nougat, flint and a variety of barrel-worked complexities. One sip and you feel caught in its headlights; there’s so much going on, it’s hard not to become fixated.96 points.- Campbell Mattinson, Halliday Wine Companion 2019
2018 Scorpo Rosé RRP $29
Vibrant salmon pink in colour this wine exhibits musk, raspberry, strawberry and rose petals on the nose. The palate is generous yet focused with musk, truffles and wild berries. Clean, crisp acid finish, with a hint of fine tannin. – Paul Scorpo
2018 Scorpo ‘Noirien’ Pinot Noir RRP $33
5% new oak and terrific to drink. As fresh and it is silken, as seamless as it is delicious. If you drink this immediately you’re missing out on nothing, such is its polished drinkability, but it has both complexity and structure on its side too and so should mature well into at least the medium term. Bravo. Price and quality are spot on. 93 points. Campbell Mattinson The Wine Front
2016 Scorpo Estate Pinot Noir RRP $59
Rich and svelte at once, its cherry-berried flavours, cedar wood and sweet spice notes entirely seductive both in isolation and in team. This is the way to combine the swishness of oak, the sweet-sour tang of varietal fruit, and studs of spice and leaves. The statement it makes on quality is clear. 95 points. – Campbell Mattinson, Halliday Wine Companion 2019
2016 Scorpo ‘Old Vines’ Shiraz RRP $44
Wild with florals and undergrowth, game and black cherry. There’s a power of spice and garden herb complexity here though the delivery is silken, the fruit ripe and fleshy. It smells sensational, tastes it too, the tannin and finish yet to resolve properly but it will. 95 points. – Campbell Mattinson, Halliday Wine Companion 2019
2017 Scorpo Eocene High Density Vineyard Pinot Noir RRP $87
Scorpo’s wines are always impressive but this new release is particularly so. I don’t have details on the density of the planting but it saw 10% whole bunches and 20% new oak. It was all fermented wild. More importantly, it tastes sensational.
The word stunning comes straight to mind. This is a measured, moderate wine and yet it has power. It tastes of black cherries and chicory, sweet raspberry, savoury/woodsy herbs, dark chocolate and cedarwood. It carries a fair clip of oak but both the fruit and the tannin have such force to them; the flavours stride through the palate as if on a mission. It’s a striking wine, composed, shot with woodsmoke and mineral, persistent plus. They’ve grown a wine and a half here. 95+ points. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
2018 Scorpo ‘Pinsanto’ Late Harvest Pinot Gris 375ml RRP $35
We used fruit from our old Pinot Gris block in Merricks North. We let the fruit mature well into autumn so that the flavours could reach their richest potential and attain full aromatics. We picked when all the elements, including the acidity, were in balance. Harvest date was mid-April. The fruit was whole bunch pressed to tank, allowed to settle, with coarse solids removed. The must was then inoculated with cultured yeast and once the ferment had started, transferred to four-year-old and older barriques for maturation on lees over eight months. It was bottled on 24th January 2019. – Paul Scorpo