Ten Minutes by Tractor has always had a different take on Sauvignon Blanc; not so wilfully perverse as to call into question the nature of the grape, but distinct enough to provide a different view into this most celebrated yet divisive of varieties.
A drinker accustomed to a more trans-Tasman take on the variety might smell this and know what it is while marvelling that they’ve never smelled a Sauvignon Blanc quite like it. That, needless to say, is the point - to engage with variety and region and winemaking in equal measure, and draw out the uniqueness of this particular version of the varietal wine. It’s piercingly aromatic but with a firm tilt to the mineral, herbal spectrum, keeping more vulgar aspects at bay while still releasing wisps of passionfruit into the mix. Think of a herb garden just after a summer shower and you’d be on the right track.
In the mouth, there’s a particular fullness that swells on the middle palate and gives sharp, citrus-herb flavours nice drive and carry. This isn’t an overwhelming wine, which may come as some relief to those who don’t often have a taste for this variety, but there’s trademark acid and some gorgeous texture through the finish that should ensure ease of matching with a variety of food. Indeed, this is a wine one might reasonably label a “food wine,” as it cries out for company of a similarly fresh, zesty character. A nice, gentle lemon curd finish carries the wine through to a squeaky clean close.
Julian Coldrey [March 2016, commissioned by TMBT]
Grapes hand-harvested in mid April and transferred to press via gravity before being whole bunch pressed and the unsettled juice fermented by indigenous yeasts in old French oak barriques. Throughout a 7 month maturation period in barrel, lees were stirred and a natural partial malolactic fermentation proceeded with the onset of spring. The wine was lightly fined and filtered before bottling.