Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon Chardonnay 2010 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic)
$65, Screwcap, 13%
It has taken so long because I like these wines so much that they have gone into the ‘special occasion’ sample pile, a pile of wines reserved for those occasions when I’m actually drinking, not tasting (I drank this bottle on my birthday actually). Occasions which, sadly, have come around less often of late, which is obviously why the reviews have taken so long.
Anyways, unlike myself, what I like about this wine – and the whole Ten Minutes by Tractor operation – is the sheer level of precision and detail. The Ten Minute by Tractor website, for example, is a veritable treasure trove of wine information, each wine specced out in full detail, each vineyard covered in maps and flyovers (which are brilliant) and each vintage described viticulturally. It is a wine geeks delight.
That level of fanaticism is reflected in/on the bottle too. Heavy and numbered, said wine container has a finely textured front label; a back label resplendent in ever more wine detail; a QR code; a perfect screwcap and a precise combination of colours and fonts. It screams expensive, serious wine in every way.
The wine is made seriously too, the grapes hand picked and whole bunch pressed to barrel, the juice wild fermented and matured for 10 months in barrel before being bottling with only a light filtration. Spot on handling.
Given such an outlook, it is no surprise to find this Chardonnay is as brilliant as it promises to be. Yellow straw in colour, it smells so utterly right that you don’t want to put it down, the nose leading with super high quality creme caramel oak and a yeasty fullness combined with white nectarine fruit. It tastes ripe, creamy, nutty and full, the palate weighty and the wine big without falling over into fat. It finishes persistently too, that double cream richness continuing on and on to bring you back for a second glass.
Stylistically this is an interesting wine in the context of the modern Australian style actually. The grapes are picked fully ripe for one, the flavours built around fruit not sulphide trickery. the structure and shape inspired by Morgeot rather than Montmains (and happily so). It’s a style that, wonderfully, when done well is the very epitome of satisfying powerful Chardonnay.
Actually, on the topic of fullness, the only criticism that I can level at this wine is that it is already fully expressive and open, the style unlikely to get much better with further time in bottle. Given just how impressive it is right now though, you do have to ask whether that really matters either? I’m not sure. Nor do I care actually, for I just love drinking this wine.
Mornington does Montrachet.
Score: 18.7/20 95/100
Would I buy it? Yes, to drink all myself