Elegant with characteristic earthy, spicy, red fruit and berries, undergrowth and autumnal leaves; it is a controlled wine, poised and restrained.
"Light red; there are distinct spicy savoury elements from the word go in this wine; it has a wiry, masculine strength and focus, yet avoids any bitterness, and has a very long, fine palate. Utterly different to the Estate. Drink to 2017. 94 points." James Halliday
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Previous vintages of this wine - 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
The 2009 is an especially delicate vintage for the McCutcheon Pinot, which is exciting given this site’s Pinot hallmarks are extreme finesse and structural rigour. The nose is austere, challenging the drinker to break into its firmly arranged collection of aromas. Some swirling yields crisp minerality, the crunchiest of red berries, nougat, dirt-covered-beetroot and - there’s no other way of describing it - the smell of a sitting on a verandah covered with lush vegetation in the height of summer; only the sound of cricket on the television is capable of completing it. That the aroma is capable of being so evocative speaks to its value. The palate is slightly more yielding - only slightly - offering a soft swell of red berry fruit at its core. Around this is a cascade of complex flavours, starting with freshly grated beetroot and ending at snapped twig, taking in a good hit of minerals and spice along the way. There’s a lot to take in, to be sure, yet the wine never sacrifices its fundamentally lean, elegant profile in the service of look-at-me complexity or power. The structure is quite firm at this stage and could do with a stint in bottle to soften and release its grip on the flavours within. When this happens, history suggests the wine will shed its nervy tension and acquire a sense of luxe that will only increase its pleasures.
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 17 April 2009. Clones MV6 and G5V15 from the Ridge and Lake Blocks on McCutcheon Vineyard. Yield 2 tonnes/ha (0.8 t/acre, ~12 hl/ha).
100% destemmed. Macerated for 5 days before beginning a 100% wild yeast fermentation. The wine was then pressed (total 20 days on skins) before being transferred to 33% new French oak barriques. 100% MLF in barrique, and after 14 months of oak maturation, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Food Pairing Notes
Spiced venison with a truffle and wild mushroom sauce. Serve wine at 14–17°C (58–63°F).