Mitchell Harris wine and wine bar.
Johnno Harris and Craig Mitchell are two blokes you want to have a beer with, or indeed, a glass of Mitchell Harris wine. Sourcing grapes from various vineyards located around Ballarat, in Macedon, Pyrenees and Ballarat regions, and with their wine bar in Doveton Street in Ballarat, they're forging a great future and making some most excellent plonk. The wine bar is a great place to sell it, and if their team, led by Taylor are any example then they aint going anywhere soon.
Let's start with the wine. With the Peerick vineyard near Moonambel in the Pyrenees with Cab Sauv, Sauv Blanc and Shiraz vines, the Wightwick vineyard near Invermay planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and Wilimee in the Macedon Ranges planted with Chardonnay, they work with growers to source the best fruit. Each have different soils, microclimates and sunlight so each offers a distinctively nuanced end result.
The wine bar is great - it's a terrific showcase for their range bu moreso, they have a range of other young gun type winemakers who are doing interesting things, as well as some classics for the purists. Think Eden Valley's Torzi Matthews, Bended Knee in Buninyong and Chalmers Pecorino from Heathcote. Then there are the internationals, dominating this list, which to be fair, is a winemakers list. This is no pimply kid putting this together with a supplier or two. There are some serious wines on here that only a winemaker is going to know. The decor is all raw brick and wood with an industrial bent to fit out, housed in a rather old building which adds to the cool factor enormously.
The menu is broken into two parts - small plates to share, bigger plates of you are not the sharing type and desserts to please the sweet tooth. The second part of the menu is for grazing. Stump up on a stool and fill your chops with two different sized grazing boards, including polenta chips (more please), charcuterie, cheese and pickles, plus a little of what the chef has decided on for the day.
We cant talk about Mitchell Harris (at least this time ) without choosing one of their wines, and given jack frost is nipping at this old blokes toes, a local Pinot Noir is just the thing to warm the cockles. We chose their 2020 MH Pinot and a great choice it is. They are all about minimal handling, so there are wild ferments, leading to a little funk on the nose. Not a bad thing by any means but it opens up to bright cherry and mulberry fruits and spicy, bracken like notes from the stems.
The body fills out with more red fruit, and crunchy acidity with the addition of some vanillin oak notes from the French Oak barriques in which it rested for a while. When I die, I want to rest in French Oak for a while too. The funk remains but opens up to a pleasant musty aroma of mushrooms and cigars. It has a lovely mouthfeel, the finish is super pleasing and is a very nice bottle of wine. The finish is long and lean and shows the winemaker's commitment to the minimal intervention, lacking sulphates and dominant tannin.
I'm a fan of the wines have been for quite a time but it is nice to be reminded how bloody good they are. This is a great autumn wine and should be consumed with any darn thing you wish, including a grazing board from the wine bar.
RRP $40 from their online store and at some good independent sellers.
VIC | 2020 | Ballarat | 13% ABV