Wednesday was destined to be our longest day as we headed even further east and south than Tuesday towards the Pemberton area. With vines only being commercially planted in 1982, this is one of Australia’s youngest wine production areas. After a ninety minute drive through beautiful forests we arrived at Mountford Wines.
Set up by Andrew and Sue Mountford in 1987 and with their son Saxon now the winemaker, we were treated to a quite extraordinary delve into history as we tasted 21 different wines dating from 1992 through to barrel samples of 2019. It was an incredible journey and it was clear that the family were relishing the opportunity to share such a historic array with such an enthusiastic group of experienced wine travellers.
For such a young area with little wine making history, the wines showed great longevity, elegance and balance. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir seemed to hit their stride at about ten years of age but even the 1997’s were showing beautifully.
This was a truly opportunity to taste a family winery’s production from inception.
We felt sublimely honoured to have been offered the opportunity.
We then only had twenty minutes to recover before lunch in Manjimup at the acclaimed Tall Timbers restaurant. Owner Ed was very entertaining and engaging and set us loose on the Enomatic wine range to taste as much as we wanted. Restraint was the watchword as we were still recovering from our 21 wine marathon earlier.
Lunch was a joyful mix of dish after dish to share covering a multitude of delicious local fare.
From Manjimup, it was a short hop to the renowned Picardy estate, back in Pemberton.
Owned by the Pannell family, we were met by Dan Pannell and, to my utter disbelief, Bill Pannell. Bill founded the fabulous Moss Wood estate in Margaret River and is an iconic figure in Western Australia and the wine world generally. I tried to hold in my excitement as this was an opportunity to spend time with an absolute wine legend.
It was wonderfully casual tasting in their barrel cellar as we discovered the superb quality that Picardy are famous for. Their Pinot Noirs were quite magnificent and Bill surprised us at the end with a bottle of 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir.
This was a truly magnificent day.