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Mountford Wines a real family affair

ANDREW and Sue Mountford set up Mountford Wines in 1987 after Andrew had spent three years researching the Pemberton area.

He spent a great deal of time analyzing soil samples, rainfall, and clones of the grape varieties best suited to the region.

The result is about six hectares under vine and an award winning, hand-built cellar door facility.

Mountford Wines is now firmly established, having released its first vintage back in 1991. It is very much a family concern, with son Saxon now joining Andrew in the winemaking duties following his return from studying winemaking at Wagga Wagga, NSW, and Sue looking after the busy cellar door and art gallery, which is a strong supporter of local arts and crafts.

The cellar door accounts for around 30 per cent of total sales. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane take another hefty chunk, mainly for restaurants, with the balance sold in liquor store across Perth.

Andrew says his real passion is pinot noir, with the 1997 Reserve the drop of which he is most proud.

Mountford Unwooded Chardonnay 1999, rrp $16.50, 16/20 points

This Unwooded Chardonnay has real class, the fruit has a richness with a steely flintiness running through the wine. Quite subdued aromas of stone fruits and mineral undertones. The palate has plenty of weight and depth of flavour, with a clean and persistence finish. Fantastic to help a plate of freshly barbecued yabbies go down the hatch.

Mountford Blanc Noir 1999, rrp $19.50, 18.5/20 points

Cleverly disguised as blanc noir, this rose-style wine is a real delight.

Wild strawberry aromas and a refreshing palate show a slight sweetness you will hardly notice. Strawberry fruits dominate and, by the end of the first glass, you will be wishing that there was more in the fridge.

Mountford Sauvignon Blanc 1999, rrp, $19.50, 18.75/20 points

My oh my, this variety is positively shining in this region. It is fresh as a daisy, with tempting aromas of passionfruit, guava and striking gooseberries. The real test is not to finish the bottle before all the guests arrive. The palate shows more of the intense gooseberry characters that enhance acidity, and the wine displays touches of limey citrus with a snowpea sweetness. ‘Do yourself a favour’ and, while you’re downing a few glasses, shuck down some local Albany oysters.

Mountford Pinot Noir 1999, rrp $ 25.00, 16/20 points

Pronounced aromas of black cherries and fragrant wild plums, with a touch of wood spice. The palate is a little dominated with elegant oak, tannins and acidity at present but there is enough fruit full of flavour to entwine and subdue over time. There is much to look forward to in this wine. It shows quite a spectrum of winemaking techniques. Andrew’s pinots certainly age gracefully, so don’t be in a hurry to drink now.

Mountford Merlot Cabernet 1998, rrp $25.00, 17/20 points

This is a delight to shove your nose into. Scrumptious cedary oak with blackberry and mulberry aromas and a little smack of violet perfume. The palate displays rich and soft fruits of plums and mulberries with touches of blackcurrant and cassia flavours towards the back palate. The tannin and acidity come together to add some backbone and depth to the flavours. Like the pinot, there is plenty of time left in this wine, so think about that as you feast on warming venison casserole.

Mountford Tangletoe Cider rrp $12.50

This takes me back to my cider drinking days in Somerset, when you could go for a night out with three quid in your pocket, because it only took two pints of cider and to make you more that happy for the rest of the night.

Tangletoe Cider has quite a deal more refinement than some of the pub brews I used to drink, but it is traditional cider, matured in oak and made from local apples. Maybe not everyone likes cider, but I am converted again. Simply delicious, it makes me want to go out and work up a thirst for an excuse to taste another glass.

Mountford Wines

Bames Road, West Pemberton

Cellar door open 7 days 10am-4pm

Email: mountfrd@karriweb.com.au

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