Wallis vineyard continues to powerfully imprint this Chardonnay. Each year, despite vintage
variation, it is always a wine of finesse and delicacy, a wonderful foil to McCutcheon’s
muscularity and impact. Ten Minutes by Tractor’s rigorously designed winemaking draws out
the differences between these sites with admirable clarity, always careful to allow fruit
character to shine while providing sensitive oak and other winemaking inputs. The nose is immediately complex, with delicious aromas of apple, ripe stonefruit and spice that, together, add up to something approaching the smell of a fresh fruit pie. Yet it’s taut
too, with citrus and cumquat alongside more prickly, smoky notes. This wine can sometimes be forbiddingly taut in its youth, but the 2012 vintage has given us an aroma that beckons with freshness and vibrancy. A wine of considerable impact in the mouth, this steps up all aspects of its structure and flavour intensity compared to the Estate wine (as well it should) while remaining true to vineyard type. In particular, the wine’s acid line is ultra-fine and firm, providing a shapely spine to the wine’s movement and granting each flavour, of which there are many, the cleanest of articulations. Indeed, this seems positively gymnastic in its precision and elegance in the mouth, pausing at each turn to express a cleanly struck pose. Fine oatmeal and spice flavours bring the wine to a close. Julian Coldrey [January 2014, commissioned by TMBT]
The grapes were hand-harvested on 20 March, whole bunch pressed and the unsettled juice was transferred to 22% new French oak barriques. Fermentation by indigenous yeasts preceded a complete (89%) malolactic fermentation in spring and regular stirring of lees was carried out over a 10 month barrel maturation. Bottled unfined and lightly filtered.
Food Pairing Notes
A wine that cries out for classic, sauced food, for example poulet poché sauce suprême. Serve at 10–13°C.