Ten Minutes by Tractor Pinot Noir 10X 2012, Mornington Peninsula

Back to Straya! Of course not to one of those massive Fatty Finn kind'ish regions like Barossa, McLaren or Coonawarra (by the way, why was this kid-movie character called Fatty Finn? Can't remember! He wasn't fat, wasn't he? Maybe some local reader has an answer …). Well, what would the tongue of a despicable Burgundy wine snob – like mine do in such places after all?! There are far too many interesting, and perhaps still not so extremely well know, cooler climate wine regions in Australia. So, this time it had to be Mornington Peninsula a bit south-east of Melbourne – again. This time without ridiculous anecdotes from my student travels in Victoria. Promise! With the Aylward Pinot Noir some months ago I was a bit too chatty ... I am afraid. I don't want you to get a wrong impression of me. I didn't (constantly) fill myself up with cheap local fizz etc. (but no evil Ros√©, even I had to keep a trace of self esteem). I also enjoyed some really nice and mostly cooler appearing Shiraz based wines from the north-west of Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. Something I really got to get back to! It is just so tricky to get these wines in Europe. Perhaps early next year I will give it a try! 

Anyway, now to today's Pinot Noir! It was produced by a rather well know local wineproducer called: Ten Minutes by Tractor – referring to the distance between the three original vineyards of the winery. In 1982 Richard McIntyre purchased land "that was to become Moorooduc Estate and began his own wine voyage of discovery, a voyage that was to intersect with Ten Minutes By Tractor when, already with over a decade of winemaking experience, he made our first experimental wines in 1999 and the first commercial release the following year“. In the early 1990s the McCutcheon and Wallis families joined in. But until 1999 all of them sold most of their grapes and did only some experimenting for themselves. So, it took a while to establish the now quite successful business. Today's 10X Pinot Noir was pretty much produced right from the start. Its first vintage was 2000. The grapes for my 2012 10X Pinot Noir were cultivated on the vineyards: Coolart Road (76%), Northway (10%), Wallis (8%) and McCutcheon (6%). The used clones were: MV6 (46%), 115 (30%), 777 (16%), Pommard (5%) and G5V15 (3%). Have I mentioned that Ten Minutes by Tractor has a magnificently detailed webpage? Check it if you are into details. I better won't overdo it with the specifics here! Back to the wine. The grapes were handpicked between March 1st and 23rd and fully destemmed. A subsequent 4-6 day pre-ferment maceration preceded a 100% wild yeast fermentation with manual plunging throughout and followed by a short post-ferment maceration of 17-22 days on skins. The ageing in 18% new medium toasted French oak took place for about 10 months. So, let's just see what I've tasted in this one ...

The 2012 10X Pinot Noir showed a sleepy as well as a bit shady seeming ruby red hue with good transparence and close to none coronal discolouration. Its nose was really expressive! Dominated by a sheer storm of spicy and youthful appearing raspberries which were escorted by a potpourri of slightly creamy smelling (?) forest berries. Overall rather cool, but quite welcoming. Luckily not an exaggerated superimposed warm welcome. Far from being gaunt'ish-earnest Burgundian. Which was just fine! Overall a nicely balanced and friendly Pinot Noir nose with temper and lightness. Besides the already mentioned dominant fruit fragranaces I got a stimulating infusion of lime juice, some foilage plus assorted mild and gentle appearing herbs. On the palate I got plenty of nicely fruitful - almost a bit lush - sappiness combined with beautiful (airy-)dewy lightness. Zero overpowered or fat New World character. Rather subtle acctually! Joyful subtle and outgoing than intellectual or sublime. Here, also quite a lot of crisp raspberries, extra sappy plum'ish tendencies without being too pushy, a bit of lime and a hint of pomgranate. The mild herbs reminded me of delicately nuanced thyme, some rhubarb, a hint of wormwood, shy foilage and a pinch of red chilli. Its tannic structure seemed softened, however still quite solid. The fine acid was sufficiently present and invigorating. Aromas of oak were mostly subdued and very harmonious. Luckily! Overall a cheerful, very well blanced and really pleasing Pinot experience without hard edges, monolithic mineral attributes, hyper intellectual demand or pretentious arrogance. So, quite Australian, I think! Pinot pretentiousness is more a Burgundian or European prerogative ;-). Which is fine and very dear to me as well! Another very decent ***** example for great Mornington Peninsula Pinot! I think I am starting to become a Victoria pinothusiast!

Next time my tongue won't travel so far. Just about 250 km to a small country with the by far highest wine (plus very high beer and liquor) consumption per capita in the world. Must be a lucky place! Their wines though aren't all to well know abroad the Moselle, the Sauer or the Our.

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