Sometimes it takes not a hero, but a rage-against-the-machine mafioso kingpin to liberate a pond that’s been muddied by dubious characters. Enter The Don.
Duck Sauce’s kingpin cousin, The Don’s not afraid to tell you how it is, and is confident in its own supremacy. Simply the finest fruit that this money can buy, this tier of the Collaboration Series is about decadence, a little bit of boasting, and almost criminally good value. Made by none other than the Oakridge team, we can tell you that it was a fun project to blend with them in their cellar, and we reckon they were as excited by us with the results. It’s a wine that’s looking excellent now, and will happily hang around for a few years yet. We’re pretty stoked.
What is the Collaboration Series?
This range is all about celebrating and collaborating with the folk who get their hands dirty. The brightest and most passionate wine lovers out there - the winemakers. These are the people who are on site, vintage in and vintage out, turning grapes into magic.
And in working with Australia’s most talented winemakers, we are humbled to help see a wine come to life, from seedling to screwcap and everything in between. Honest and epic vino, from the best in the business. Which in The Don’s case is Yarra legends, Oakridge.
Made by Oakridge
Can we all just take a second and let this glorious wine moment sink in? I mean, this is a collaboration with Oakridge. One of the greatest, and most applauded vino teams in the Yarra Valley.
The Oakridge team were always at the very top of our dream pinot noir list, but never in a million vintages did we think we’d see the day they’d be making ours. But here we are, making pinot noir worth rubbing out the competition for!
When anyone thinks of chardonnay and pinot from anywhere, they think of Oakridge (and if they don’t, they should) and Gourmet Traveller’s 2017 Winemaker of the Year, David Bicknell. Dave makes our Mimi Flamingo chardonnay, which is superb, so we thought, who better to help us craft a premium pinot?
He and Karel (Mofo Wine Team) sat in the lab mid-2016 with ten big glasses of single vineyard pinot noir from the Oakridge stable, and then Dave let him loose in the lab for a couple of hours.
“There were parcels from vineyards that make up Oakridge’s Single Vineyard Series and even 864 wines, plus a few new experimental vineyards,” says Karel. “Some vineyards only had a tiny amount to play with, some had more. I went through all of them and then Dave asked what I liked best. I pushed my three favourites forward.”
“Dave said, ‘That’d be right, you’ve chosen all the expensive ones!’”
That’s our boy, Karel!
“From the three chosen ones, we started blending, using beakers and volumetric flasks, and finally big pinot glasses, of course. We started with a third of each parcel, then got to 50/30/20… and finally got to tweaking - one more per cent here, two per cent there. And then, Dave pauses, mid-slurp, and looks at me, kind of excited, kind of mad.”
“‘F*ck!’ he said, ‘that’s reeeeally good. That’s really annoying, because I didn’t even want to give you that much of that one, that’s my new sh*t hot one to play with.’”
“So it’s got amazing fruit,” says Karel, “it’s had ages to settle in the bottle. Being able to walk into a winery of that calibre and make a really cool project was a real treat. It’s got some aromatics of Willowlake in there, which I really like. It’s silky, there are no square edges. Polished and pretty, but dark and meaty. I like that it’s quite sour and sappy, rich but with gossamer-like tannins.
Luxurious, almost. Two to three years, maybe longer (who knows?) but it’s a pleasure to drink now.”
The Don will smack you in the face with aromas of intense raspberry, dark cherry and black spice before bringing you under his wing with a long, slinky palate. Super complex (is he a hero? Is he a villain?) with gossamer tannins, The Don is going to stick around the ’hood for the next 8-12 years. This boss is not here to mess around, mofos.
This is brilliantly rendered, beautiful pinot. Fragrance, depth, perfect poise and ripeness. The oak is almost non-existent, just a support structure for the pristine fruit flavours, of which there are many. Raspberry coulis, blackberry juice, crunchy red apple, soft florals and spice, rich earthiness. Silken texture and wonderful acid drive. The 2015 was a lovely wine itself, but the 2016 is a big step up.
The Don holds a tugboat-ful of meaning for us, especially for our Art Director, Adsy. If you look at the details, the label tells the Vinomofo story; our journey from a disruptive little startup to a tribe that’s genuinely holding its own. We know we act the kid, but deep down (not even that deep down, we pretty much wear it on our sleeve) we give a shit.
Adsy has put so much into this. In his words (slightly paraphrased, because he talks in mad creative speak):
“The left hand side of the label has sharks - as in big business sharks, always looking at profit margins and not about making real, honest wine. The right hand side is a reflection of Vinomofo and where it’s going. The duck in the meat grinder is a metaphor for buyers’ own brands and how some retailers’ shelves are made up of something like 70% buyers brands. The duck is bursting the ballon that is traditional wine retail.
“There’s a shower head ’cause Justin has cold showers (which weirds me out); palm tree is for Justin and his obsession with island life; the train represents Melbourne; the plane is Vinomofo going global at the time; the tree and the flowers about growth. The duck has a name tag that says Leeroy - which is about Leeroy Jenkins (some funny gamer video - Google it - which kind of represents how I see Vinomofo, going in all guns blazing). The smoke on the left is like the smoke from Lost. Lolzzzzz.”
We’re proud of poking the bear, and the sleeping giant, and the elephant in the room. We want to poke everything that’s archaic or unjust or downright boring, and bring about a little change in this industry. Good wine and good vibes for everyone. Cheers to that.
“Sure, I'm biased here, but this is still my favourite pinot at the moment and I don't care who knows it. With all the plush vibrancy of the '17s we're seeing around, but still much to come, it's evolving and complexifying every time I try it lately. Such a brilliant exploration of Oakridge's premium pinot noir vineyards, blended masterfully and settling into its skin quite marvellously. Looks great now, but has a rich future ahead.”
Mofo member price is always best price, 100% Happiness Guaranteed. If you find a better price to buy this wine elsewhere, contact our customer team now and we’ll beat it.
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Yarra Valley
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- Serving Temp.
Vinomofo’s Collaboration Series wines are all about celebrating hand-picked makers. In working with the most talented winemakers, we’re always humbled to see a wine come to life, from the seedling of an idea to screwcap and everything in between. These bespoke projects let us to get our dream wines to you at the right price, using the strength of our relationships and the buying power of you, our tribe of good wine-loving mofos.
With a history spanning over 175 years, there's no doubt that Yarra Valley is one of Australia's most celebrated cool climate wine regions. Victoria's first wine growing district and today home to over 80 wineries specialising in Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and some of our country's best sparkling wines. With stunning hillside, lush greenery, vast space and an enviable climate - it's no wonder that medals, trophies and coveted points are plentiful here.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Peking barbecue duck with pancakes
- 1/2 Peking duck
- 12 ready-bought Chinese pancakes
- 5 green onions, trimmed and sliced diagonally
- 1 long red chilli, sliced diagonally
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- Hoi sin sauce, to serve
- Chives, to serve
- Preheat oven to 160°C. Remove the skin from the duck and cut into thin strips. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and cook until crisp. Remove from oven, cover and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, remove the meat from the duck and shred roughly. Place on a separate baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, cover with foil and place in the oven to warm for 6-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm the pancakes in the microwave or steam until warmed through.
- Combine the green onion, chilli and vinegar in a small bowl.
- To serve, place some shredded duck meat and crispy duck skin along the middle of each pancake. Top with some green onion dressing and a little hoi sin sauce. Roll up to enclose filling and tie up with several chive strips with ends trimmed. Place on a platter and serve immediately.