Thursday, 11 June 2015

"Australia was never ‘anti-terroir' " says Martin Spedding from Ten Minutes by Tractor, as his single vineyards are released

For TMBT's owner, winemaker and self-confessed terroir and Burgundy geek Martin Spedding, "provenance is essential". Talking to Drinks Business recently he claims that "Australia was never ‘anti-terroir'" (view article here).

His single vineyard wines are being released very soon to the UK market and will no doubt sell out very quickly. The wines are made in extremely limited quantities, only in the very best vintages and have certainly developed a cult following among our customers. They are always true expressions of the distinctive terroir of the three "home" vineyards, the Wallis, Judd and McCutcheon (that are “ten minutes by tractor” away from each other!). All three vineyards are situated within the Main Ridge sub region, one of the coolest and highest parts of the Mornington Peninsula.

This year Martin has added a new single vineyard Pinot Noir to the family, coming from the Coolart Road Vineyard. This vineyard is on the flatter, lower, northern part of the Mornington Peninsula between the Devilbend Reservoir and Western Port Bay and producers very mineral Pinot Noirs. Yum!

Martin employs the same vinification methods (very similar to Burgundian techniques) for all the single vineyard wines and yet they are distinctly different from one another. This is a result of their different elevations, orientations and soils. These wines recall Burgundy in quality and elegance, and range from fine and elegant to the richer and more opulent. But the key thing is that they are all a true expression of the unique ‘terroir’. James Halliday’s Wine Guide awarded TMBT 5-Star status some time ago, but in the last few years he has been rating all of their top wines between 94-96 points. Here are the tasting notes:
McCutcheon Chardonnay 2013
Expressive and complex on the nose with a wonderful savoury character, lashings of stone fruits and spice. Explosive in the mouth with a burst of citrus fruit and plenty of muscle, a common trait in the McCutcheon Chardonnay. There’s a brightness to this wine, not acid-driven but simply as a result of its refreshing mouth feel and rich depth of flavours. An impressive wine.

Wallis Chardonnay 2013
The Wallis vineyard produces Chardonnays with an exceptional degree of finesse, even in warmer years like 2013. There’s something special about this wine that combines both restraint with power. The 2013 is very intense with fine stone fruit bursting out of the glass and yet it is somewhat held back by a fine backbone of minerality that sculpts the fruit. Crystalline and hedonistic at the same time with a wonderful tension, that carries onto the palate. It is mineral and concentrated on the palate with gentle spice and smooth caramel flavours. What a beautiful wine.

Judd Chardonnay 2013
This is the first release of a single vineyard Chardonnay from the Judd vineyard and is, happily quite different to the Wallis and McCutcheon. An unadulterated expression of the purest of fruit with tremendous poise and serenity. A vivid nose of honeydew melon, vanilla, spice and minerality delights the senses. On the palate it is crisp and harmonious with fantastic complexity, never losing its immediate appeal and pure line.

Wallis Pinot Noir 2013
This is a great example of how vintage and site come together to produce unique wines. Here warm vintage conditions have given this wine a certain darkness of fruit on the nose and yet the wine’s overriding character is its remarkable restraint. This is a lively wine with red berries and spicy, toasted oak dancing onto the palate. A light-medium bodied wine that has a brilliant linear elegance and poise. A classy and delicate Pinot Noir that has the structure to age very well.

McCutcheon Pinot Noir 2013
As with the Chardonnay, the McCutcheon vineyard produces Pinot Noirs of substance and power. This character is brought to the fore in the warm 2013 vintage, though vintage conditions have also given it an accessibility that will reward those seeking to drink now. Dark and dense on the nose with ripe berry fruits and forest floor aromas, this is an elegant wine with great structure and density of savoury flavours. Tannins are a particular highlight, being fine and ripe, as is a certain strand of sappy flavour that runs alongside berry fruit and contributes the most delicious freshness.

Coolart Pinot Noir 2013 
Excitingly, a new single vineyard Pinot Noir for 2013 from the Coolart Road vineyard, and a single clone (MV6) wine to boot. Noticeably different from each of the other single vineyard wines, the aroma here is dark and dense, with less focus on fruit and more on undergrowth and a striking minerality. On the palate, it is opulent, savoury and quite rounded. Sweet berry notes begin to emerge adding to the complexity of this wine. A superb and exhilarating new Pinot Noir!

Download all bottle shots, labels and tech sheets here

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