Ten Minutes by Tractor
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Following heavy rainfalls in the winter of 2014, vintage 2015 growing conditions were exceptional. Mild and consistent temperatures over the summer and a cool and dry autumn produced beautiful fruit, balanced yields and healthy canopies. The resulting wines have bright fruit, great balance and persistence. One of our very best vintages. Yields were well up on the previous vintage (overall 4.6 t/ha or 1.9t/acre compared to 2.1 t/ha or 0.8 t/acre).
Grapes hand-harvested through March and, on arrival at the winery, 95% destemmed. A 4-7 day pre-ferment maceration preceded a 100% indigenous yeast fermentation with manual plunging throughout, followed by a short post-ferment maceration (a total of 16-22 days on skins). Following pressing and a short settling period the wine was transferred to 15% new French oak barriques. After a natural 100% MLF with the onset of warmer temperatures in spring, the wine was then bottled unfined and filtered following a total of 10 months of oak maturation.
As with its sister Chardonnay, the 10X Pinot Noir has to live up to some spectacular competition in the form of its Estate and single vineyard companions. It does this admirably by providing a surprisingly substantial glimpse of the higher tier wines, while never losing sight of the need to remain its own wine.
True Pinot lovers will go wild at the smell of this, not just because it’s deep and rich and incredibly varietal, but because only a few years ago it was almost impossible to find Pinot this good at this price point. Rejoice in this, then, and its deep aromas of plum flesh and spice, cola and undergrowth. There’s a richness here that suggests immediate drinking pleasure, yet complexity is there and rewards extended nosing.
If richness is the key word for the aroma, so too the palate, though it’s here things become more complex. There’s significant density of fruit flavour - dark berries and plum skins and spice - so much so that one might worry for a second it’s a simple fruit bomb. Not so. From mid-palate onwards, masses of gorgeous textural tannin emerge, creating a velvet ride on which the wine’s flavours roll smoothly through. Ever envisaged fine dining while sitting on a picnic rug? That’s this wine, in a nutshell: generous to a fault and held together by surprisingly strong bones.
Julian Coldrey [March 2016, commissioned by TMBT]
It’s Pinot like this that makes you reach for the duck - a Chinese roast duck from the best vendor you can find, eaten simply, would be perfect. Serve at 13–16°C.