Perhaps the most thrilling aspect of a Burgundian view of site, as practiced at Ten Minutes by Tractor, is the transparency it affords into growing conditions. 2011 was a cool, wet year that allowed grapes to ripen slowly. This wine was made from a single Chardonnay clone (P58) grown on a single site, the McCutcheon Vineyard.
The coolness of the year is immediately evident on smelling this wine. The McCutcheon vineyard typically produces a fuller, more masculine expression of Chardonnay, and this is an excitingly nervy version. The aroma is savoury and high toned, focusing on mineral aromas first of all, beautiful in their crystalline delicacy. Tight grapefruit and white nectarine lurk underneath, adding flesh to a lithe aroma profile and paving the way for the palate.
The palate is immensely powerful, but its drive is well harnessed within a fine, racy structure of acid and phenolics. This is muscularity in slow motion, an elegantly protracted bicep curl, almost a bit of a tease. Grapefruit bursts onto the tongue with verve and freshness, followed quickly by honeydew melon, subtle spice and nutty oak flavours. The cool season has given remarkable intensity and focus to the fruit, and it is easy to overlook this wine’s detail and complexity in favour of its drive. But there are such fine flavours here, and further time in bottle will enable their fullest expression.
Julian Coldrey [January 2013, commissioned by TMBT]
The grapes were hand-harvested through the third week of April, whole bunch pressed and the unsettled juice was transferred to 25% new French oak barriques. Fermentation by indigenous yeasts preceded a partial (42%) malolactic fermentation in spring and regular stirring of lees was carried out over a 9 month barrel maturation. Bottled unfined after filtration.
Food Pairing Notes
Drink with something equally flavoursome and vital, like a beautiful herb, lemon and garlic
risotto. Serve at 10–13°C.