Pinot Gris From A Peninsula Guru

Scorpo Pinot Gris isn’t your average Pinot Gris. It has complexity far beyond the norm. – Campbell Mattinson

In a land that time forgot, Scorpo Pinot Gris was the wine that first showed me how Australia takes a run at premium versions of the variety. It taught me about textural elements in gris/grigio; about how, when cared for, the variety shows pluck and character. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front

Paul Scorpo has a well-deserved reputation for his Pinot Gris.James Halliday

Impossible to diss a Gris with evidence as compelling as this! Paul Scorpo nailed the Mornington Peninsula benchmark from his beautiful Merricks North vineyard a long time ago. Since then he has added the beguiling Bestia, a wine inspired by the skin-contact whites his Italian-born father made in a garage in Coburg from the ’50s on.
And now this: A late-harvest sweetie from the 2018 vintage on Paul’s celebrated old Gris block.
The Pinsanto moniker is a play on Vin Santo, the sticky wines of Tuscany where bunches are picked fresh and then laid out or hung up to dry off the vine. Where Bestia more than flirts with the pink-tinged delights of Pinot Noir, Pinsanto is all about that luscious zone that long-ripened Gris gets into – dried apricots, preserved citrus, orange rind and ginger, with a decadent murmur of crème brûlée and honeycomb. The peninsula’s characteristic maritime freshness does a delicious job of balancing its opulence. A Gris to differ!

2016 Scorpo Pinot Gris RRP $37
Gently whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented in used French barriques, no bâttonage (lees stirring). This complex Gris has a pleasantly gritty quality to its fruits and acidity, the skins of nashi pear looming large along with unsweetened citrus fruit and pith. 92 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2018

2017 Scorpo ‘Bestia’ Pinot Grigio RRP $43
Bestia is based on the method my father Sebastian and his friends made white wine from the 1950s on. It was 100% lightly crushed and wile yeast fermented in concrete fermenters that he had built. This of course all occurred in the garage in Coburg, Melbourne. A true garagiste! After fermentation, the wine was basket pressed (which he built himself) and about 250 litres was made. Mostly it was a mixture of Malvasia with about 5% Waltham Cross. It was matured in old whiskey barrels for about three months and then hand bottled. In the seventies we started to source old French wine barrels. My father and his friends would meet most Saturdays for lunch, and play the card game ‘bestia’, meaning the beast. Most of all they met to drink each other’s wines and try to convince all that their wine was the superior. – Paul Scorpo

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 had attained 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. It presents a layered and lifted nose, displaying upfront citrus notes, such as apricots and lemon cheesecake whilst behind, sweeter notes such as crème brûlée and burnt toffee support it. The unctuous palate is driving whilst providing opulence, warmth and generosity, with the characteristic maritime fresh concentrated acidity balancing the richness. Also showing honeycomb and orange rind with hints of ginger. Delicious now but sure to develop wonderfully for many years
. – Paul Scorpo