Last night, two friends of ours had us over for dinner. They had just
recently returned from 10 days in Australia, traveling through Victoria.
With dinner, they opened up three wines they had brought back, all
from Phillip Island, which is just South of Melbourne and close to the
Mornington Peninsula.

2010 Phillip Island Chardonnay
nose: lemons, stones
palate: bracing acidity, medium body, apples and lemons, a hint of oak

Wow! This wine was a dead ringer for a quality Maconnais Chardonnay.
The acidity was vivid, the oak very restrained and no evidence of
malolactic fermentation. Never in a million years would I have guessed
Australia for its provenance.

2010 Purple Hen Pinot Noir
nose: sappy, dark cherry fruit
palate: medium body, good acidity, velvety

This wine reminded me quite a bit of NZ Pinot Noirs with the
characteristic sappy notes in the nose. Our friend Chris, an avowed
Pinot Noir hater, found this wine to be to her liking. We're going to
have to open an Amisfield PN for her to compare.

2008 Phillip Island Cabernet Sauvignon
nose: pencil lead, dark, brambly fruit
palate: tannins, good acidity, medium body, deep fruit

This wine put me in mind of California Cabernets from the 1970s and
1980s. It had a definite New World feel, but a sense of restraint to it
that kept it far away from overextraction or jamminess. There was
plenty of structure to this wine and I have no doubt that it'll continue
to improve for quite a few years.

All 3 of these wines were products of a cool climate and showed it with
a sense of elegance and restraint that I rarely encounter in wines from
Oz. Well done!

Mark Lipton