Regions > Victoria >Western Victorian zone > Grampians region

: Montara



76 Chalambar Rd, Ararat, 3377

Cellar Door: Daily (11-4)

Ph: (03) 5352 3868

In 1970 the McRaes established their Montara Vineyard on the eastern slopes of Mount Chalambar.

The site was chosen for its frost free location at an elevation of 350 metres above sea level. It is high enough for cool nights to extend the ripening season of the grapes and thus building complexity of flavour.

The rich red loam soils over a shale base and an adequate supply of recycled water also contribute to the fruit quality.

Former winemaker Mike McRae's built his reputation with Pinot Noir (unusual for the region) but the Montara range includes Merlot, Shiraz, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. There is a second New Wave brand (Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Riesling).

The cellar door also sells local olive oils.

The winery holds an annual scarecrow competition held in April.

The winery has been recently purchased by the Stapleton family with Leigh Clarnette as the new winemaker.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

New reviews

Montara Gold Rush Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, perfumed and intense blackcurrant and dark plums with eucalyptus and violet notes, medium bodied and firm with mouth-filling dusty tannins and grippy acidity, toasty cedar/vanilla oak (***1/2)

Montaa Gold Rush Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2016, flinty with lemon zest, passionfruit and some tropical fruits, perhaps a touch too much sulphur on the nose, restrained grassiness with a touch of red capsicum, powdery phenolics with a crisp citric finish (***)

Montara Gold Rush Riesling 2015

Purchased: Not ($23)

Drink: 2017 or 2022 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting:: Dec 2015, just in the off-dry camp, succulent kaffir lime, apple and barley lemon with brown spices, fine powdery texture and crisp limey acidity (****)

Montara Grampians Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: May 2011, complex and appealing Northern Rhone style showing supple black cherry and blackberry with savoury roast meat, black pepper, anise, dried herb and menthol notes, medium bodied with fine tannins and the oak bringing toasty cinnamon and mocha to the finish, step up in quality (****)

Montara Grampians Riesling 2009

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2011 or 2017 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: May 2011, gentle lemon sherbert and green apple with brown spice and a touch of emergent kerosene, fine powdery mineality with crisp lime rind acidity, varietal although a little broad (***)

Montara Grampians Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: May 2011, muted barrel fermented style, broad passionfruit, grass and lychee with tropical fruit sweetness, fine talcy minerality with gentle citric acids and a whisper of vanilla (***)

Montara Grampians Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: May 2011, according to James Halliday the Pinot Noir from here was highly regarded in the 1980s, brightly flavoured raspberry and glazed cherry, silky and glycerolly with some sappy acids on the finish, just varietal but simple and a bit forward (**1/2)

Montara Grampians Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, rather ripe dark plum, blackberry and prune with liquorice notes, tarry and meaty with some reasonable fruit depth and a chassis of powdery tannins, shame about the overt bubblegum flavours with the charry vanilla-cedar oak (***1/2)

Montara Grampians Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, clean, taut and minerally barrel fermented style, passionfruit, guava and cut grass with zesty lemon/grapefruit acidity, good length (***1/2)

Montara Grampians Home Block Pinot Noir 2007

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, spicy but fairly sturdy black cherry and plum with tobacco, dried herb and black pepper notes, chalky texture with some sappy acids, soft tannins (***)

Montara Rose 2007

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, derived from Shiraz and Pinot Noir, salmon colour, dry, sour cherry and rose petals with hints of plum, blackberry and spice, persistent minerally finish with some subtle tannic structure, a little fuller than most Roses but holds my interest more than most (****)

Montara Grampians Shiraz 2005

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, rather ripe and heavily textured wine showing sour blackcurrant, plum and dark olive flavours, medium-full bodied and minerally, chassis of dusty tannins, light char French oak (***1/2)

Montara Grampians Pinot Noir 2004

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, sturdy black cherry and plum, savoury and medium bodied with dried herb and pepper notes, chalky fine tannins with some sappy acids, discrete French oak (***)

Montara Grampians Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Purchased: Not ($21)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2008, clean and lighter bodied, lime, passionfruit and mandarin, fine chalky backbone, sour grapefruit finish (***)

Montara Grampians Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($21)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, grapefruit and melon with a touch of smoky bacon, tight and elegant palate shows lemon butter features, charry vanilla oak, well balanced brisk acid finish (****)

Montara Grampians Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, fairly intense for the region, grassy, passionfruit and blackcurrant features precede tropical fruit mid-palate flavours, dry minerally finish with a touch of phenolics (***1/2)

Montara Grampians Riesling 2006

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: March 2007, lime and tropical fruit with a touch of orange blossom, chalky acids are well balanced but let down by the excess residual sugar on finish (***)

Montara Grampians Shiraz 2004

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2006, savoury and medium bodied cassis and dark berry nose with spice and dark olive notes, smooth tannins, charry oak, good BBQ wine (***)