Momento Mori Staring at the Sun 2020


Dane Johns of Momento Mori is a wizard when it comes to making wine, he sources hard to find varietals, making highly sought after and rare wines that are full of as much magic as they are of flavour. There is never much around, so be quick.

Some words from the wizard himself below...

Staring at the Sun is what you might call the flagship wine (for want of a better term), it was the first wine released under Momento Mori Wines and has gained somewhat of a cult following in Australia and abroad. 

I started making wine on a quest to make wines precisely like this one. And subsequently to keep trying to hone and refine them year in and year out no matter what the cost or how inefficient the methods are deemed to be. 

The blend is relatively the same each year and includes Fiano, Vermentino, Malvasia and Moscato Giallo, although amounts are adjusted to suit the vintage. 

All are fermented separately in stainless for varying time on skins. Each variety is then pressed back to stainless and left to rest on solid lees over the winter 

(also in stainless) before gravity racking, assembling the final blend and then bottling in early summer. 

I won’t go into tasting notes per se as you are familiar with this cuvee’ and its style. 

The 2020 rendition of this cuvee’ is along the same lines as the 2018. The wine sits at 12 % alc and is medium bodied with great texture. It is pure, clean and has great tension and energy without lacking any of its usual character or charm. 

Over the last 4 years it has been interesting watching this wine develop in bottle. It seems to evolve nicely and become more elegant and structured if given time. 

With this in mind I wanted to give it some extra bottle age before release so as you probably noticed there was no Staring at the Sun release in 2019 as I wanted to get it back a year so every subsequent vintage has an extra year or more under it’s belt before being released. 

I had planned to be releasing the 2019 vintage now but in fact the 2020 is looking far more approachable and ready to go than the 19 so have decided to keep the 19 back and release the 20 now. 

I have also started using a high-grade natural cork as a closure to ensure it can cellar well for at least 7 years. 

It will benefit from more time in the bottle for those that can keep their hands off it for a while. 


Alc: 12%

Volume: 750ml

Grape: Fiano, Malvasia, Moscato Giallo, Vermentino

Country: Australia

Region: Heathcote

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