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: Dominique Portet

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Dominique Portet

www.dominiqueportet.com

870-872 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream, 3770

Cellar Door: Daily (10-5)

Ph: (03) 5962 5760

Avenmore Tastings
Sharon and Sally at the Dominique Portet cellar door
label

Dominique Portet comes from a French family with wine connections going back to at least 1780.

Dominique spent vintages in the Medoc, the Rhone Valley, Provence and with world Champagne giant Moet et Chandon.

After a stint in the Napa Valley he spent 20 years as managing director of Taltarni, and helping develop Tasmania's Clover Hill.

In 2001 he left Taltarni and set himself up in the Yarra Valley and with a Mediterranean style winery/cellar door.

The interesting mix of vines on the estate includes Merlot and Viognier. There are some rather powerful Heathcote Shirazes and, reflecting his past at Taltarni, a rose sparkling.

However, Portet adds: "Sauvignon Blanc is the variety I know best in white wines and love the most. It's a wine for summer, to accompany light dishes. This particular wine has a good aroma, the perfume is very important. It's got good structure and length, too." The dry style comes in barrel fermented and crisp styles.

He has also come up with a rather appealing dessert Sauvignon Blanc (the Vendage Tardives).

Personally I love his elegant and dry Rose and always pick up a bottle when I visit the cellar door. The briary Cabernet was also a standout but now has softertannins.

His son, Ben, is now the executive winemaker leaving Dominique to do his roving consultancy and marketing work. Ben worked with Brian Croser at Petaluma for four vintages and also in France, South Africa and California's Napa Valley. He has his own Ten Men label (Ben is the tenth generation of family wine men) which includes an unsual Sauvignon Blanc that gets frozen for three days.

Avenmore Tastings
Our 2013 visit to the Dominique Portet cellar door
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

Dominique Portet Origine Chardonnay 2015

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2016, Champion Wine at Vic100: Festival of Wine 2016,sourced from Upper Yarra Valley, partial barrel ferment,  floral,focussed and linear white peach and lime rind with reductive flint and matchstick aspects,  bright lemon floral aspects, palate builds some succulence down the line, racy grapefruit acidity with seamlessly integrated hazelnut-cinnamon oak (*****)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose  2015

Purchased: Prince Wine Store, South Melbourne ($21)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015, derived from Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot, salmon colour, spicy cranberry and sour cherry with peppery nuances and musky notes, lightly creamy mid-palate with fresh acidity and refreshing minerality on the finish (****1/2)  

Dominique Portet Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Purchased: Not ($53)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015, quite fragrant and generous showing cranberry, cherry and blackcurrant with violet florals and anise notes, long and medium-full bodied with toasty oak spices on the back end, the dusty tannins have some drying grip but are finer under winemaker son, Ben’s stewardship (****1/2)

Dominique Portet Vendanges Tardives 2013

Purchased: Not ($40)

Drink: 201

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015, this is the third ever release of their late harvest Sauvignon Blanc, fermented for two and a half months in new French oak, golden colour, floral, viscous with modest botrytis spiciness,  apricot, orange peel and honey and well judged acidity (****1/2)

Dominique Portet LD Brut Rose NV

Purchased:  Cellar Door ($28)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015,  blush coloured sparkling from 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier, 2 years ageing, light dosage after disgorgement, fresh strawberry and apples with musk and rose petal nuances, some lees savouriness, dry and long finish with crunchy lemony acidity (****)

Dominique Portet Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015,  30% barrel ferment in new French oak barrels, creamy lime, white peach and lemon with only a light touch of grassiness and vanilla, some white flower florals,  crisp and minerally with a fingly citrus finish (****)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2014

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: June 2015,  50% Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, sourced from Yarra and Pyrenees, floral red cherry and plum with mint, black pepper and olive notes, slightly herbaceous,  juicy and medium bodied  with fine dusty tannins, early drinking style (***1/2)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose 2014

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2014, derived from Yarra Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and Pyrenees Shiraz, vibrant and spicy red cherry and mulberry with peppery spices, garden herb and rose petal notes, quite dry with refreshing minerality and chalky phenolics, crunchy acidity, lovely balance and persistence (****1/2)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose 2013

Purchased: Vintage Cellars, Toorak ($22)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, derived from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 30% Pyrenees Shiraz, fresh, dry, and spicy with red cherry and cranberry with musky spices and rose petal notes, refreshing minerality and fine chalky phenolics, crunchy acidity, the extra Pyrnees Shizaz component has slightly deepened the palate weight so its light-medium (****1/2)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, doesn’t have the vibrant aromatics of the cold 2011 vintage but shows its usual austere interpretation of the variety (this is fermented in stainless steel, the premium is barrel fermented),  dry, minerally passionfruit and lime flavours with leesy creaminess and a touch of garden herbs,  savoury, citrus-peel finish, good line (****)

Dominique Portet LD Brut Rose NV

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2013, about 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, 2 years ageing with a light dosage after disgorgement, lively and fresh strawberry and apples , creamy with rose petal nuances, finishes quite dry and long with the low dosage well integrated (****)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose 2012

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting:  Nov 2012, derived from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 20% Pyrenees Shiraz, spicy, dry and savoury with cherry and cranberry with pepper and rose petal notes, refreshing minerality and fine savoury phenolics, the Pyrenees Shiraz has lifted the spiciness of the Rose (****1/2)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose 2011

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, derived from Yarra Valley Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon plus some Pyrenees Shiraz, salmon pink blush colour, dry and savoury with cherry, strawberry and rose petal with herbal and spice notes, finishes with refreshing minerality and fine savoury phenolics, long very well balanced with the lively, dancing acidity of the cold 2011 vintage lifting this one up another notch from its usual rating (****1/2)

Dominique Portet Brut Rose NV

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, about 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, 2 years ageing with a light dosage after disgorgement, fresh and savoury with strawberry and cream mid-palate and apple, rose petal and spice nuances, finishes quite dry and focussed, good summer afternoon drinking (****)

Dominique Fontaine Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, from Gladysdale in the Upper Yarra Valley, this is another one of their wines that has been lifted by the cold 2011 vintage and cool ferment conditions, glorious nose showing blackcurrant, cut grass and liquorice, the palate is more restrained showing dry, minerally passionfruit and lime flavours with leesy creaminess (no barrel ferment) with a savoury, citrus finish (****)

Dominique Portet Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2011, this is from the estate Coldstream vineyard and has undergone 15% barrel ferment plus a small portion of the grapes were frozen for a week, heavily textured style with ample leesy creaminess, fairly subdued nose compared to the standard, minerally passionfruit, white peach and lime with a touch of cut grass and dried herb, savoury and dry finish, I reckon it needs a bit more acid drive (***1/2)

Dominique Portet Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Prince Wine Store, St. Kilda ($37)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, from a vineyard next to the iconic Mt. Mary winery, like its famous neighbour the wine in its youth is full of vibrant briary blackcurrant character although is less green, savoury, medium bodied and minerally with the oak bringing mocha-chocolate and smoky cedar, long gravelly tannins (****1/2)

Ten Men Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Purchased: Not ($34)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, this is Dominique’s son, Ben’s label, this is most definitely not your typical grassy Sauv Blanc, using a technique he picked up while working in California’s Napa Valley the grape juice from Upper Yarra vines is frozen for three days to concentrate the flavours, barrel fermented and aged in new French oak with battonage inputs, long and richly textured showing grapefruit, melon and spicy pear with subtle nut and a gentle orange rind/mineral finish (****)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, derived from Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot, appealing salmon pink blush colour; dry and elegant with red cherries, strawberry and other red berries with herbal and spice nuances, long minerally finish, is consistently Australia’s best contemporary dry Roses (****)

Dominique Portet Brut Rose LD NV

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, elegant and savoury sparkling from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes with a small red wine and liqueur inputs, fresh strawberry, pear and stonefruit, infused with plenty of texture, long well judged finish, dosage is well integrated (****)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, well made but early drinking blend, the Cabernet and Merlot comes from the Yarra with the Shiraz coming from the warmer Heathcote region, medium bodied and spicy blackberry, plum and redcurrant, earthy with good mid-palate depth and mocha-chocolate oak, fairly soft and silky tannins, should be a good match for lamb dishes (***1/2)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose 2007

Purchased: Cellar Door ($18)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, derived from Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot, good salmon colour; spicy, elegant and dry with slightly tangy cherry, strawberry and green apple, appealing dry finish (****)

Dominique Portet Yarra Valley Merlot 2005

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, generous and rich style showing ripe blackberry and dark plum, spicy and full bodied palate has violet and black olive features, attractive French oak with some pencil shavings aspects, well made but just a bit too pumped up to get a higher rating, 14.5% alcohol (****)

Dominique Portet Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, attractive floral nose, very dry in the white peach and passionfruit spectrum, 15% barrel fement has added a creamy texture without getting oily, crisp finish (***1/2)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Sauvignon Blanc 2007

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, soft palate shows tropical fruit and passionfruit and a touch of minerally herbaceousness on the back palate, pleasant quaffer but showing the difficult vintage (***)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose 2004

Purchased: Cellar Door ($18)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2005, derived from Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot, faint salmon touch to colour; twists of herb, grass and mineral with a delicate raspberry and guava, appealing dry finish, well matched for summer evening shellfish dishes (****)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Sauvignon Blanc 2004

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2005, firm mineral/slate aromas; minerally palate with passionfruit and a touch of herb, not intense but still stylish (***1/2)

Dominique Portet Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2003

Purchased: Not ($38)

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2005, 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot, medium-bodied Bordeaux style blend; savoury, earthy, blackcurrant and blueberry with hint of black olive and liquorice, long finish (***1/2)

Dominique Portet Fontaine Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2002

Purchased: Cellar Door ($19)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2005, Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (83%), the Merlot (2%) and Heathcote Shiraz (15%) medium bodied, soft and the fruit is not particularly bright and a touch green (***)