20 August 2009

Ten Minutes by Tractor 2007 10X Pinot Noir

I had heard good things about this vineyard from a friend last year, who warmly recommended the restaurant and its extensive wine list. That didn't seem much of an accolade for its own wine, but as my parents had recently brought a few bottles back from a trip to the Mornington Peninsular, I thought I should kick the tyres, so-to-speak, and take the tractor for a spin.

The name, interestingly, comes by virtue of the fact that the three "home blocks" are each ten minutes, by tractor, apart. It is certainly more interesting than had they called it say, "Half Hour by Foot" or "Two Minutes by Dirt Bike".

The label is quite trendy as well. And, in the glass, it pours as purple as a Hendrix haze. It has that revered pinot combination of light and shade - deep colour with a clear twinkle of luminosity.

Other reviewers have given this particular wine an up-and-down history over the years - a report card that reads, "Obvious potential, but needs to try harder". Well, if that is the case, this year the 10X pulled its finger out and has come in much closer to the top of the class.

It is a pinot made in the Burgundy style. And much like the other famous Burgundy (Ron), it is kind of a big deal. It smells of rich mahogany and leather bound books. And goes down as smooth as Saint Diego.

It is fruity in a suave, sophisticated way, and can get away with showing a hint of the blueberry trussed up in its well-manicured coif.

Across the board, Pinot Noir is generally one of the more expensive wines - you won't find much under the $30-mark. So, at about $35, the 10X Pinot sits near the bottom of the scale pricewise, and is half the cost of the three other single-vineyard pinots (Wallis, McCutcheon and Judd) sitting in the Tractor sheds. They are also very good, but I prefer the 10X blend, particularly at the price.

Rating: 8/10
Drink with: Mushroom risotto

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