Having just reviewed the McCutcheon pinot noir release from Ten Minutes by Tractor from the 2012 vintage (see here), it seems right to examine its single vineyard sibling from the Judd vineyard, in the same subregion of the Mornington Peninsula (Main Ridge) and from the same vintage.
The Judd vineyard is ever so slightly higher than the McCutcheon, the latter being 200 metres at its highest point, the former 206 metres. A more important distinction is that it sees the full roth of the afternoon soon, being west facing, and has a slightly steeper gradient at around 6 degrees. This plays out into harvest times – for the Judd vineyard, the grapes were harvested on 15 and 29 March – a couple of weeks sooner than the McCutcheon. And just to add some further interest, the pinot noir clones are completely different, this wine being a blend of 50% pinot noir clone 115, 32% clone 114 and 18% clone 777. In the winery, a mostly similar approach is taken to each wine, both being 100% de-stemmed, and seeing 25% new French oak.
|The Judd Vineyard. Source: www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au|
Which then leaves us with the wine. For any or none of the above reasons (we are talking about wine after all), it presents completely differently to the McCutcheon pinot noir. It is initially rather shy and reticent in the glass, requiring some coaxing to extract its scent. Deli meats and raspberry characters emerge in an expression that is more Burgundian in character. On the palate, the acidity frames a classy and gentle expression of cherry and raspberry and proves a very drinkable wine.