Regions > Victoria >Port Phillip zone >Yarra Valley region

: Mount Mary


Mount Mary

Coldstream West Rd, Lilydale, 3140

Cellar Door: Not

Ph: (03) 9739 1761

Mount Mary is arguably Victoria's most iconic winery with the Cabernet blends and Pinot Noirs consistently rated as amongst Australia's best.

The Chardonnay and Triolet blend (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle) have also achieved cult status in recent years. The late founder, Dr. John Middleton, planted a few vines in his Lilydale backyard in 1958. Colin Preece, the head of Seppelts Great Western operations encouraged Middleton to pursue his interest in winemaking.

In 1971 John bought the Mount Mary property with his wife, Marli, and planted a range of Bordeaux and Burgundy varieties. The first vintage came out in 1975 and he was able to retire from medicine in 1982 to focus on wine-making.

Middleton's iconic status was based on his pursuit of perfectionism - with wine-making analogies to an operating theatre. His legendary annual newsletter, highlighting his sharp wit and passion, were always eagerly awaited pieces of Australian wine-related writing.

Middleton died in 2007 but the family has decided to continue the operation. Sam Middleton is the new winemaker. David Middleton is in charge of the regeneration of the old vineyards and establishment of natural wetlands on the site.

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

Mount Mary Quintet Cabernets 2014

Purchased: Not ($130)

Drink: 2032+

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2017, mix of Bordeaux varieties, fragrant, leafy and linear redcurrants and blackcurrant with sage and violet notes, dusty medium bodied palate with graphite minerality, excellent persistence and firmish powdery tannins with well integrated savoury cedar/ dark chocolate oak (*****)

Mount Mary Quintet Cabernets 2013

Purchased: Not ($130)

Drink: 2030+

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015, †lean and leafy style showing sleek and linear redcurrants and blackcurrants with dried herb, violets, cedar ad mint leaf notes, dusty medium bodied palate with powdery tannins, the warmer vintage has allowed the wine to avoid the green herbaceousness of the 2011 vintage, strong graphite mineral aspect, excellent persistence, long living style (*****)

Mount Mary Triolet 2013

Purchased: Not ($90)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015, barrel fermented blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc, 13% Semillon and 12% Muscadelle, creamy and slightly waxy lemon grass, passionfruit and green melon with a touch of green herbs, talcy with a whisper of oak, some savoury sea shell phenolics on the end, not quite as fresh as the best vintages but is a classy wine (****1/2)

Mount Mary Chardonnay 2013

Purchased: Not ($95)

Drink: 2021

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015, †powerful and creamy nectarine, melon and lemon with mealy complexity and a hint of nougat, quite long with talc-like minerals and restrained spicy cashew oak and savoury phenolics (****1/2)

Mount Mary Triolet 2011

Purchased: Not ($86)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, tautly structured and barrel fermented blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a dash of Muscadelle, floral and creamy passionfruit, lemon, cut grass and melon with a viscous mid-palate, talcy with dusty and briny sea shell phenolics and a hint of almond/vanilla oak, the racy acid structure from this cold vintage adds some nervy tension that lifts this above other recent vintages (*****)

Mount Mary Chardonnay 2011

Purchased: Not ($86)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, aromatic, leesy and creamy nectarine and melon with oatmeal, fig and nougat notes, typical focussed entry leads to a plumper viscous, mid-palate with barrel ferment aspects, talcy minerality with subtle spicy cashew-almond oak and delicate briny phenolics, long and seamless with nervy lemon/grapefruit acidity (****1/2)

Mount Mary Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not ($115)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, floral, supple and light-medium bodied red cherry and raspberry with a gentle wash of garden herbs, anise and rose petals, becomes savoury and foresty with a bit more fruit depth on the back palate, fine chalky tannin grip with toasty clove/vanilla oak, fair effort from a difficult vintage (****)

Mount Mary Quintet Cabernet 2011

Purchased: Not ($127)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2013, Bordeaux style blend, elegant, leafy and light-medium boded redcurrants, blackcurrant and mulberry with violet, mint leaf, capsicum and dried herb notes, linear with light tobacco/cedar/roast coffee oak notes, and tightly packed spine of dusty tannins, slightly grippy green-edged acidity (****)

Mount Mary Triolet 2009

Purchased: Not ($80)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2011, barrel fermented Graves (Bordeaux)-inspired blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a dash of Muscadelle, somehow missed the smoke taint from the 2009 bushfires (by this stage any taint would be glaringly obvious), long and creamy pear, lemon and melon with a plump, viscous mid-palate and some acacia florals, quite minerally with some dustiness, finishes with briny sea shell phenolics and a hint of almond, a little more powerful than recent vintages but maintains lovely balance and harmony (****1/2)

Mount Mary Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($A90)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2011, perfumed and silky nectarine, green apple and melon with oatmeal and toasty honeysuckle, focussed entry opens to a viscous, lanolin mid-palate with creamy barrel ferment aspects, fine chalky minerality with restrained spicy cashew-almond oak and delicate savoury phenolics, long and seamless (*****)

Mount Mary Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($A120)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2011, floral and supple with a strawberry entry, the mid-palate builds depth and shows sour cherry, plum and dried herbs, becomes savoury and foresty with a good line and structure, restrained sappy finish with toasty clove/nutmeg oak (****1/2)

Mount Mary Quintet Cabernet 2008

Purchased: Not ($A130)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2011, foresty and elegant black cherry and raspberry with pepper, violet, pepper, mint leaf and dried herb notes, light-medium bodied and savoury reflecting the milder vintage, very long and linear with light tobacco/cedar/roast coffee oak notes, slightly grippy tannins show a touch of greeness, lighter than recent vintages, needs time to blossom (****)

Mount Mary Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2010, no malo but 100% barrel fermented, taut and shapely nectarine and melon with complex nutty and savoury lees inputs, seamless and minerally with toasty spicy cashew-cinnamon-vanilla tightly wound with the lingering grapefruit acidity, balance and precision has been maintained by new winemaker, Rob Hall since the passing of founder Dr. John Middleton (****1/2)

Mount Mary Triolet 2008

Purchased: Not ($75)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2010, barrel fermented and lightly oaked blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon with a smaller Muscadelle input, delicately textured lychee, melon and lemon rind with dried herb, savoury lees and cinnamon-vanilla oak nuances, very long with a touch of briny sea shell from the Muscadelle showing on the finish (****1/2)

Mount Mary Pinot Noir 2006

Purchased: Not ($140)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, perfumed, sweet entry showing raspberry and red cherry leads into a tauter plummy mid-palate, handsomely spiced with cinnamon, clove, pepper with savoury meat notes, fresh acids, not as shapely as some past vintages but the long, linear tannins do give this structure and focus missing from many of the regionís Pinots (****)

Mount Mary Quintet 2006

Purchased: Not ($140)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: May 2009, five way Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, perfumed spicy and leafy Cabernet nose, stylish black cherry, blackcurrant and plum with violet and dried herb notes, silky and medium bodied but builds intensity on the palate, savoury with slight green and vegetal aspects, vanilla-chocolate-coffee oak nuances on the glorious finish that never seems to end, distinctive style (****1/2)

Mount Mary Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($95)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, vibrant but delicate style showing regional stonefruit, melon and white peach, creamy with subtle cashew aspects, underpinned by chalky minerality and lemon rind acidity, toasty vanilla oak, exemplary balance, length and tautness (*****)

Mount Mary Quintet 2005

Purchased: Not ($140)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, blend of the classic five Bordeaux red varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, perfumed nose, pristine expression of tangy dark plums, blackberry and black cherry with violet, pepper and cinnamon notes, savoury, smooth and medium bodied palate is more on the austere style rather than a blockbuster, fine, slightly dusty tannins, the well judged oak adds vanilla, coffee and chocolate aspects, great length (****1/2)

Mount Mary Triolet 2006

Purchased: Not ($95)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, unusual blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle, elegant, and tightly structured and quite minerally, gooseberry, melon and white peach with dried herb and cinnamon spiciness, chalky finish with lemon rind acidity, lovely balance, blend interacts surprisingly well (****1/2)

Mount Mary Pinot Noir 2005

Purchased: Not ($140)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, lovely perfumed nose, core of sweet red fruit with raspberry and red currants but avoids getting too confectionary or forward as many Yarra Pinots from this difficult vintage, attractive clove, pepper and cinnamon notes, spicy French oak and firm, structured tannins, what sets this above the pack is the tremendous sculptured shape as the wine unfolds across the palate (****1/2)