Morlet: Winery in Focus
Barry Weinman: 17th November 2021
Like many wine lovers, Nigel Morlet and Phillipa Lamont dreamt of taking their passion for wine to the next level and starting a vineyard.
Unlike almost all of us though, the couple turned that dream into a reality with the purchase of an established vineyard on Clews Rd in Cowaramup over a decade ago, with the focus on supplying grapes to other producers.
The quality of the fruit must be very good as all the Cabernet produced has been sold under contract. But with a variety of grapes grown on the vineyard (four hectares under vines), the couple were able to produce their first wine under the Morlet label in 2011 with a Zinfandel. This was later joined by a Chardonnay and Petit Verdot.
But Zinfandel is the core around which Morlet wines are built. There are two reds made from Zinfandel as well as a Pet Nat and a Rosé (70% Zin/30% Merlot).
There are also plans to release a Cabernet when production levels permit.
Wines are now made by the talented team at McHenry Hohnen and production is very small. (Most wines are less than 1,000 bottles and some are just a single barrel).
Morlet – Urban Professor – Chardonnay – 2021. Pretty peach and nectarine notes, hints of citrus, and gentle ripe pineapple notes. The palate is fine and quite restrained, with slate, minerals and zesty acidity running the length of the tongue. Gentle melon and almond notes add interest. The texturing oak adds to the package. Has good fruit weight and depth, but really needs three-five years to be at its best. 92+pts – $35
Morlet – Delicious – Rose – 2021. 70% Zinfandel 30% Merlot blend. The fruit here is the main focus. Bright and fresh, with berries and cherry aromas and flavours. There is excellent length on a slightly chewy finish, and more fruit weight than many. The drying finish is a bonus. Lives up to its name: Delicious. 91pts – $30.
Morlet – The 8th Deadly Zin – Zinfandel – 2015. Amazing fruit on the nose that is ripe and succulent. This is complemented by leather, minerals and tobacco notes. The palate is textured and slightly chewy, yet the tannins are approachable enough to let the fruit shine. With admirable restraint and only 14.4% alcohol, this is excellent current drinking and will go a treat with a rich ragu! 90pts – $35.
Morlet – Reserve – Zinfandel – 2014. Not surprisingly perhaps, this is more reserved than Deadly Zin, and all the better for it. Balanced, restrained, drying and elegant, this shows how Zinfandel can be turned into fine, savoury, luxurious age-worthy wine. A single barrel produced (American oak) 14.9% alc, Drink with a slow cooked shoulder of lamb. 93pts – $66