John Harris made plenty of quality sparkling booze at Domaine Chandon in the Yarra Valley before deciding to head out to the Wild(ish) West of Victoria to make his own wine. Teamed up with the in-laws, the Mitchells and created Mitchell Harris wines in 2008. I’ve already reviewed the excellent flagship sparkling Cuvee, the Sabre so here is a chance to see how John Harris handles still wine making, and he does it with absolute aplomb. They also have an amazing portfolio of social media photos…so if you can’t get the wine, at least appreciate the pictures!
Mitchell Harris, Sauvignon Blanc Fumé, Pyrenees, 2014
Wild yeasts and partial Malolactic fermentation in French oak on full solids. Tropical fruit/dried pineapple, mealy wheat, biscuit, grassy hints which hint more to straw, fresh fennel and toffee/caramel sweetness from the barrel work. Complimentary palate: what has happened in the vineyard is complimented by the work in the winery: Oak giving oomph where the naturally lighter bodied sauvignon blanc needs a lift.
Spiky acid hits the back of the palate like a rapier, piercing rounded youthful oak. A structured beastie: Fruit is limey, green melon and soft pineapple tropicals that provide an outline, a highlight, that lingers like sunshine. Geez I wish every one made Sauvignon Blanc like this.
Mitchell Harris, Mataro, Pyrenees, 2012
Classy and elegant labeling. 12 months in French oak. Soft hint of pepper and cuddly red raspberry fruits. Deliciously inviting with a glossy sheen that never reaches confection. On the palate, just medium bodied: Loganberry (black and raspberry) fruit and the perfect amount of maturity from the oak. With a lovely amount of sprightly acid and enough grip to match food, tis hard to resist a 2nd glass.
Mitchell Harris, Shiraz, Pyrenees, 2012
2% Viognier co-ferment. Wild ferment. Smells of plastic tipped/vanilla cigarillos, dried figs, milky coffee, deep red fruits (almost to mulberry) with a cracked pepper nuance. A little cabbagey reduction that blows off with some oxygen. Palate gets hits with fine sandy tannins; oak is spot on providing a little spice and a cuddle. Fleshy fruits of mulberry, raspberry and trademark, just-medium-bodied-let-the-fruit-do-the-talking-deliciousness
Mitchell Harris, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pyrenees, 2012
Amen, a Cabernet with an ABV lower than most whites. Globs of mint and chocolate and brambly Cabernet black fruits fall from the glass. Again, not a monster and from a region where elegance and structure reign over fruit, but that doesn’t mean it’s lean, far from it. Black fruits sit back whilst fine, plentiful tea-tannins leave a solid wash. Along with Best’s and Dalwhinnie, Mitchell Harris are becoming a worthy addition to the class Cabernet acts from the Western Region of Victoria.
All wines samples courtesy of Mitchell Harris wines