I’ve had two very successful cellar door visits recently.  The first was to Phaedrus, a small vineyard on Mornington-Tyabb Road.  The cellar door itself is an unassuming, but attractive little building – very simple, and there is a very strong chance you will be served by the winemakers – Maïtèna or Ewan.  What I really appreciate about Phaedrus though is value for money.  I find the wines to be excellent – some quality in depth here – but at $20 a bottle for the whites (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris) and $24 for the reds (Pinot Noir, Shiraz) they are a real bargain.  There is a reserve Pinot Noir at $45.  Highly recommended.

Contrast Phaedrus with Hurley vineyard on Balnarring Road.  Hurley is a premium Pinot Noir producer – that is all they make – different wines coming from different areas of the vineyard with different pinot clones.  For me the stand out wine was the Garamond 2010.  At $63 a bottle you would hope for something a bit special, and this I think does deliver.

And finally, something I have enjoyed from Willow Creek – a great idea from Geraldine McFaul – the Chardonnay Project.  Four chardonnays made from the same juice, but treated in different ways.  There are genuine but subtle differences between the wines and it’s fun trying to work out what they are.

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