The Wallis vineyard produces a very particular expression of Chardonnay that, each year, stands out in the Ten Minutes by Tractor range. It has a high toned finesse that is immediately recognisable when placed alongside the muscular McCutcheon wine, and this architectural filigree is one of the wine’s principal pleasures.
The nose here, for example, is immediately expressive of minerals as much as herbs and citrus - it has a curiously piercing note of struck flint that provides a beautiful edge to the wine’s aroma. Smelling this is like exploring a rock-strewn road on a bright winter’s day - lines are etched and sensations sharpened, the whole bright and cool at the same time. There are deeper wells of aroma here, but these remain firmly recessed.
Until the palate, that is, which shows how flavoursome this wine truly is. Although it never loses its sheen of minerality, there is a depth of flavour in the mouth that fills the wine’s line satisfyingly well. Entry is precise and lemon-tinged, leading to a mid-palate that swells with slick mouthfeel and butterscotch delight. Texture asserts through the after palate, with a nice cat’s tongue rasp of phenolics atop vanilla and spice flavours. A gentle, reverberant finish.
Julian Coldrey [March 2016, commissioned by TMBT]
Grapes hand-harvested in mid March, whole bunch pressed and the unsettled juice was transferred to 20% new French oak barriques. Fermentation by indigenous yeasts preceded a partial malolactic fermentation in spring and regular stirring of lees was carried out over a 10 month barrel maturation. Bottled after light fining and filtration.