Main Ridge spicy savouriness overlaid with grapefruit, basil and caramel; an elegant power which is, relatively speaking, full and luxurious.
"An elegant detailed chardonnay, with finesse as well as power. Restrained but ultra-complex bouquet of toasted nut, honey and citrus-flower aromas, quite Burgundy-like. The palate is rich, yet finely textured and restrained with just enough roundness and viscosity. Outstanding. Now to five years. 96/100." Huon Hooke
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Previous vintages of this wine - 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004
True to form, 2009’s McCutcheon Chardonnay is the powerhouse of the stable, providing an exciting contrast to the Wallis while not subverting the fundamentals of the house style. The nose is thick and heady with complex herbal notes, sage and fennel mostly, underpinned by subtle yellow peach and finished with a caramel twist. There’s real depth to the aroma profile and it only becomes more complex the longer you give it in glass. Certainly a wine to linger over and watch through the evening. Although its flavours are relatively up front, this isn’t an obvious wine at all. Rather, it’s a wine that deceptively places its goods at your feet, which feels great until you realise you’re not entirely equipped to understand what it’s showing you. So you smell it again, and again... Eventually, though, you will taste it and discover a palate awash with prickly fruit flavour and that distinctively herbal savouriness seen on the nose. Fruit character here veers almost towards the pineapple, adding decadence to what is otherwise a very adult wine. In fact, this comes closest of any wine in the portfolio to a “naughty” style, flavours spreading across the tongue and relaxing in a slightly louche manner before being tightened up as the after palate kicks into gear. The finish turns firmly savoury and goes for some time, then just as you think you have the measure of it, the whole turns on a dime and finishes with a cheeky flash of sweet caramel. What a difference a site makes. Drink this and the Wallis together, see the differences, begin to understand the wonder of wine.
Ironically, for a season that will be remembered for the devastation caused by the February 2009 bushfires, it was cool weather that defined the vintage "up the hill”. Budburst was excellent but in mid November, just as flowering commenced, through into December, cool wet weather meant flowering and fruit set was poor resulting in very low yields. Main Ridge was less effected by the intense heat from mid January to early February; the rolling hills tend to hide the vines from afternoon heat loads and our predominately east-west running rows were less exposed to the extreme afternoon heat which caused most damage. The end result was low yields, great balanced acidity and intense flavours.
Hand picked on 6 April 2009. Clone P58 from the Long Block on McCutcheon Vineyard. Yield 3.5 tonnes/ha (1.4 t/acre, ~21 hl/ha).
The grapes were hand harvested and whole bunch pressed and the unsettled juice was transferred to a mixture of new and old French oak barriques. Wild yeast fermented in 29% new oak. 100% MLF. Lees aged and stirred for 9 months. Bottled after fining and filtration.
Food Pairing Notes
A perfectly cooked, luscious spinach and pork risotto. Serve wine at 10–13°C (50–55°F).