The 2016 Wallis Chardonnay is a remarkably poised and tensile wine.
'A 'wow' wine.' - James Halliday 97 Points!
The archetypal Ten Minutes By Tractor Chardonnay and in classic form here. Wallis typically has more acidity, and this year it has delivered a perfectly poised wine. An unmistakable edge of Sao and a dash of caramel on the nose, the full palate flush with butterscotch flavours, the acidity a further punch after a power-packed middle. Light on its feet, yet a seriously powerful wine in top form.
After a very cold winter, the 2016 growing season had the highest average maximum temperature (23ºC v 21.8ºC avg), earliest flowering (10 days earlier than average) and harvest dates (23 days earlier than average) on record, lowest growing season rainfall (211mm v 348mm avg) and shortest hang time (budburst-harvest; 21 days shorter than average). The result was a dry and warm vintage with good yields
Grapes hand-harvested in early March, whole bunch pressed and the unsettled juice was transferred to 25% new French oak barriques. Fermentation by indigenous yeasts preceded a complete malolactic fermentation in spring and regular stirring of lees was carried out over a 11-month barrel maturation. Bottled unfined after filtration.
Ten Minutes by Tractor needs little introduction, nor does the man in charge – Martin Spedding. A gently-spoken man with a background in finance and IT, in 2002 he finally acknowledged the fact that his true passion lay in wine. Despite his origins in New South Wales, he simply couldn’t get enough of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and would travel down to Victoria to immerse himself in Australia’s heartland of these noble varieties. In 2003 he visited one of his favourite small wineries on Mornington Peninsula, and was delighted to discover that it was for sale. Without a moment’s hesitation, he snapped it up, and so began Martin’s journey with Ten Minutes by Tractor.
And what a journey it has been! Along with a trusty team and his loving family, he has overseen the rise of the estate to the cult status it holds today. In 2016 Sandro Mosele (ex-Kooyong and Port Philip Estates) joined the team as head winemaker, only adding to their ‘force to be reckoned with’ status. The ‘home’ vineyards (McCutcheon, Wallis and Judd) are the three original vineyards that formed the Ten Minutes By Tractor estate. They are all located in Main Ridge, the coolest and highest part of the Mornington Peninsula.
Despite their close proximity and the use of similar vinification methods, the single vineyard wines are distinctly different from one another. This is a result of their different elevations, orientations and soils. These wines can challenge Burgundy in quality and elegance and range from fine and elegant examples to richer and more opulent cuvées. They are all made with indigenous yeasts and are a true expression of each unique ‘terroir’. These much sought after single vineyard wines are only produced in outstanding years and continue to go from strength to strength.
Production is usually less than 200 dozen; they are truly limited edition wines. Outside of the original single vineyard range, the newest Coolart Road is remarkably different from the others – coming from the lowest vineyard of them all at 72m, the Pinot Noir made here is markedly different in style from the higher elevation sites. All of the wines are made with the utmost sustainability and are bottled unfined.
"Stunning chardonnay. Fireworks in a glass. Sunny peaches and cream, blasts of wood smoke, crackles of mineral and bangs of spice. Flint notes too. It's simultaneously obvious and sophisticated. It's big on flavour but long through the finish, and for good measure the texture has a satiny quality. A 'wow' wine."
James Halliday 97 points
14% alc vol
|Units of Alcohol per Bottle||10.5 units|
|Allergen Information||Contains sulphites|
|Features||Vegan and Vegetarian|
|Food Matches||Lime kingfish with crème fraiche. The white fish is perfect for such a refined wine, but with enough power to match the wine|