McCutcheon is typically the more robust of the Chardonnays, and again it’s a wine of coiled power and weight. The season has delivered a significant wine though, a hint of matchstick funk, the golden, nutty and bold flavours sitting below the surface.
After a very cold winter, the 2016 growing season had the highest average maximum temperature (23ºC v 21.8ºC avg), earliest flowering (10 days earlier than average) and harvest dates (23 days earlier than average) on record, lowest growing season rainfall (211mm v 348mm avg) and shortest hang time (budburst-harvest; 21 days shorter than average). The result was a dry and warm vintage with good yields.
Vineyards :: Clones
McCutcheon (Ridge Block 50%, Lake Block 50%) :: P58 (100%)
Harvest date :: Yield
Hand picked 15 March 2016 :: 5.79 tonnes/ha (2.3 t/acre, ~34.7hl/ha)
Brix :: pH :: TA
22.4° (12.4° Baumé) :: 3.50 :: 6.08 g/l
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 complete malolactic fermentation in spring and regular stirring of lees was carried out over a 11 month barrel maturation. Bottled unfined after filtration.
Sandro Mosele, Martin Spedding
Aging :: Oak
11 months :: 20% new French oak barriques (medium toast; very tight grain; François Frères)
Dry (0.55 g/l)
Finished pH :: TA
3.49 :: 5.2 g/l
14.0% (8.3 standard drinks/750ml bottle)
239 dozen :: bottled February 2017 :: screwcap
McCutcheon is typically the more robust of the Chardonnay releases, and again it’s a wine of coiled power and weight. The acidity is lower this year but yet you wouldn’t pick it in any way – it still feels tight and surprisingly restrained. The season has delivered a significant wine though, a hint of matchstick funk, the golden, nutty, bold flavours sitting below the surface like the leg muscles of a racehorse. Remarkable that it can look so fresh given the extra weight and plump mid palate.
Andrew Graham [February 2018, commissioned by TMBT]
Food :: Temperature
The weight here needs weighty flavours. Roast chicken with a creamy thyme sauce is the way forward here. Serve at 10–13°C.