Following an average rainfall and relatively warm winter, it was again the spring weather leading up to flowering which caused issues. October was our third wettest on record (96mm v 62mm average) and November saw our second coldest maximum and minimum temperatures (19.3° v 20.9°, 9.6° v 10.9°), consequently the budburst interval (budburst-flowering) was our longest ever – 87 days v an average of 75 days – and flowering was our latest ever (5 December v our 21 November average). In the end, due to the excellent February and March, hang time (budburst- harvest) was average – 205 days v an average of 204 days – and harvest date was close to average – 1 April v an average of 29 March. Yields are down because of the problems around flowering but summer and early autumn saw long, slow ripening – perfect for our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Vineyards :: Clones
McCutcheon (Ridge Block 100%) :: MV6 (100%)
Harvest date :: Yield
Hand picked 5 April 2017 :: 1.2 tonnes/ha (0.5 t/acre, ~7.2hl/ha)
Brix :: pH :: TA
22.6° (12.6° Baumé) :: 3.79 :: 6.9 g/l
Grapes hand-harvested early April. 100% destemmed with 100% whole berries, and transferred to 1 tonne stainless steel tanks. Held cold for a few days to delay start of indigenous yeast ferment which then typically runs for 25-30 days. Cap management by pump over with some plunging towards the end of the ferment. Following pressing, the wine was transferred to 33% new 228 litre French oak barrels for 11 months. Natural 100% malolactic fermentation before bottling unfined and with minimal filtration.
Sandro Mosele, Martin Spedding
Aging :: Oak
11 months :: 33% new 228 litre French oak barrels (medium toast; very tight grain; François Frères)
Dry (0.37 g/l)
Finished pH :: TA
3.72 :: 5.5 g/l
12.5% (7.4 standard drinks/750ml bottle)
63 dozen :: bottled 19 February 2018 :: screwcap
Easily the spiciest McCutcheon to date, with a bony edge you don’t typically see in the powerful, masculine wines from this site. A little leafiness that is easy to (incorrectly) pick as a whole bunch character, but with a coiled, dark fruit power (and lots of acidity) underneath. There’s a brooding wine just below the surface here, just needing time to unfurl.
Andrew Graham [February 2019, commissioned by TMBT]
Food :: Temperature
A Sicilian eggplant parmigiana may seem too heavy, but the acidity of this red and subtle power make it an intriguing match. Serve at 14–17°C.