Curly Flat is located in Lancefield, eighty kilometres north of Melbourne in the Macedon Ranges. It is a privately owned, estate-based grape grower and wine producer. Curly Flat was developed in 1989 by Phillip Moraghan and Jenifer Kolkka after an eighteen-month search for a region and site with the potential to grow pinot noir and chardonnay with the style, character and finesse similar to the wines of Burgundy. Their vision became a reality under the careful tutelage of Laurie Williams, a viticultural pioneer in the Macedon Ranges. Williams oversaw successive plantings at Curly Flat, and his no-nonsense attitude galvanised Curly Flat’s uncompromising approach to winemaking.
In 2017, Kolkka became the sole owner of Curly Flat. Under her leadership, the winery’s reputation for high-quality winemaking continues. Kolkka and her team, led by experienced winemaker Matt Harrop, are fully committed to producing the best possible wines from the carefully nurtured site.
The Macedon Ranges is the coolest viticultural area on mainland Australia. Warm summer days with crisp, cool evenings slow ripening and help retain natural acidity, resulting in wines with longevity. These are ideal conditions for the early ripening varieties of pinot noir and chardonnay.
Curly Flat’s oldest vines were planted in 1992. Subsequent plantings (1993 to 2019) have seen the vineyard grow to thirty-six acres. The majority of the area is planted to pinot noir (72 percent), with smaller plantings of chardonnay (23 percent), and pinot gris (five percent). A diversity of aspect and clone provide multifaceted winemaking opportunities. The red volcanic basalt soils have structure and depth allowing the roots to descend many metres – increasing the soil volume that is able to be exploited by the vines.
At Curly Flat, the vineyard is acknowledged as the greatest influence on wine quality. The winery’s desire to be connected to the whole process of growing wine drives its decision to only use fruit grown at Curly Flat. Curly Flat sees the winemaking role as one of custodian, seeking to express the footprint of the vineyard rather than the thumbprint of the winemaking. The cool-climate region produces fruit of high natural acidity and intense yet elegant structure, leaving little need to enhance what the vineyard already delivers.
⇐ 2018 Curly Flat Chardonnay
This chardonnay has a floral and savoury nose rich with white stone fruits, complex struck match and wheat notes. Layers of citrus zest and fresh cut green apple add charm to the subtly savoury frame of white truffle and baker’s spice. Intense white peach drives the front palate before being drawn taut via crisp, citrus energy. Drinking beautifully now with more than eight years of cellaring potential.
⇐ 2017 Curly Flat Chrdonnay
With an aromatic nose of white stone fruits infused with fragrant lime blossom, the palate of this wine leads with nectarine, white peach, hints of pear and grapefruit, which is then embraced by the cool charge of acidity. Inputs of subtle French oak and creamy lees provide both a savoury and textural frame for its luxurious length. Drinking now and over the next eight to ten years.
⇐ 2018 Curly Flat Pinot Noir
This wine features a fragrant, yet brooding nose. Hints of aromatic forest notes and morello cherry swirl among the darker spectrum fruits of black cherry and damson plum. Secondary notes of vanillin spice, cocoa, black pepper, leather and charcuterie embroider the nose. Black cherry and plum form a generous, silky mid-palate. Cool, clear acidity shimmers throughout, before resolving into a lingering finish.
⇐ 2017 Curly Flat Pinot Noir
Fresh violets and dried lavender are entwined with strawberry and black cherry to create a fresh, fragrant peak. Aromas of leather, fresh earth and autumnal undergrowth merge with coniferous notes, oak spice and black pepper. Luminous and mouthfilling red-black fruits meet fine, suedelike tannin, which are ushered along by an undercurrent of cooling acidit