Marli Russell by Mount Mary 2024 Winter Release

Marli Russell by Mount Mary 2024 Winter Release

The journey of Marli Russell, from the Middleton family of Mount Mary fame and originally in its infancy referred to as the ‘Rhone Project,’ began with a curiosity to explore the adjacent land from the fabled Mount Mary site with a far reaching curiosity about what the future might hold for the families winegrowing future. The ever-changing environmental conditions, as well as a desire to preserve this special site for future generations, inspired the planting of multiple Rhône varieties: three white grapes in the form of Marsanne, Roussanne, and Clairette, and four red in the guise of Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault (easy to see where the original ‘Rhone Project’ moniker came from eh…..).

The thing about the greats of history is that they never stand still. Whilst respecting history, tradition and heritage, they are always looking forward. The Rolling Stones went from performing blues covers to inventing a new thrilling genre of Rock and Roll that encompassed not only the blues but jazz, psychedelia and soul. Resting on their laurels is not something that the greats do and that is what the Middleton family are, one of the greats of the modern Australian wine landscape. When Sam Middleton first let us into the details of the new plantings back in the day, a few sideways glances were no doubt shared around the room, but the vision and the foresight really shines through in the magnificent Marli Russell project now that it rolls on into its adolescent years. This is no longer a project that is only about the future, it is about now. Year on year the Marli Russell wines have evolved, not only as the vines established themselves in their (relatively) new home in Coldstream, but also as Sam and the Mount Mary team have grown and evolved alongside the vines.

The old adage goes ‘if there is no struggle there is no progress’ and whilst the evolution of the Marli Russell wines hasn’t always been a liner one, it really feels like today the flag has been firmly planted in the ground and each year we wait with bated breath to see what story the vines, and the Mount Mary vineyard, have to tell us about the current stage of their evolution.


The 2022 Vintage

We’re pleased to present you with our latest Marli Russell wines from the 2022 vintage, both of which we believe are the best releases of these blends to date. The 2022 vintage in the Yarra Valley was an all too familiar tale of 'quality over quantity’. The weather in November 2021 was cold, wet and windy which affected the extremely critical flowering/ fruit set period of the growing season.

The weather that followed was nothing short of outstanding.... warm, dry conditions through January, February and March (even stretching into April) were ideal for ripening our later season Marli Russell varieties which simply thrive in these warm and dry conditions. Grenache and Shiraz continue to be the star performers of the 7 southern Rhone Valley varieties we have planted in our vineyard. They are set to become more prominent players in the Marli Russell range over the coming years


The Wines

2023 Mount Mary Marli Russell Rosé 


The 2023 season was characterized by cool and damp conditions from mid Autumn. Later ripening varieties like Grenache and Mourvedre retained their natural acidity and vibrant primary fruit characteristics making a perfect base for rosé. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre from our ‘Rhone Project’ vineyard plantings, our rosé is made in the direct press method. Half the fruit is whole bunch pressed and the remaining half destemmed prior to pressing. Fermented in stainless steel to retain freshness and fruit purity, with some lees work to add subtle complexity. Delicate and aromatic, this wine expresses flavour characteristics of crunchy white peach, pomegranate and orchard blossom. Inspired by the pale, savoury rosé style of Bandol, this wine is crisp and dry, with zippy acidity to keep it fine and focussed on the finish. Versatile and food-friendly. - Sam Middleton, Marli Russell


2022 Mount Mary Marli Russell RP1


The 2022 rendition of our RP1 blend encompasses all the attributes that we have been hoping to bring together for a number of years now. Whilst delicious drinking now, it will age gracefully for another decade or so. The nose opens with a little toasty oak and some struck match complexity that quickly subsides and makes way for the powerful fruit to take charge. Pear, melon and a hint of pineapple are all easily detected. On the palate, there is more concentration than previous vintages and a slightly more pronounced viscosity/oily texture. The extra concentration does not detract from the freshness and therein lies the balance we have been in pursuit of since the first release of this wine in 2014. – Sam Middleton, Marli Russell



2022 Mount Mary Marli Russell RP2


The 2022 RP2 is quite simply a delicious wine. One of the hallmarks of all 2022 red wines is impressive colour intensity, and this wine is no exception. It has a brilliant deep red, purple hue. The progression of these Rhone red varieties, grown in our vineyard for 15 years now has been extremely pleasing. The nose is dominated by beautiful, pure ripe Grenache/Shiraz aromas of ripe raspberries, stewed strawberry and plum, with nuances of liquorice and spice. The palate is perfectly weighted with luscious, dense fruit and a clean cut of tannin lending a savouriness to the ripe, bright fruit profile. This wine has impressive length and persistence on the palate. – Sam Middleton, Marli Russell



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