An excellent quality harvest, with below average size crops.
In summary: A very cool summer and late start to harvest. Then beautiful sunny autumn weather with very little rain allowing the slow development of fully ripe grapes loaded with colour and flavour.
Outstanding quality across the range, including spectacular late picked reds (Solaire and V.P.). Quantity down by about 15% overall. Very little cleanskin red produced.
This turned out to be a terrific harvest but it was something of a roller-coaster ride, as is often the way. The season began promisingly with good early spring rainfall and above average temperatures.
However the temperatures began to fall as the rain continued on into the spring, so that by the time of flowering in mid November it was still quite wet but starting to feel notably cool.
The fruit set was consequently fairly poor, resulting in reduced crops, particularly in the Grenache and Shiraz vineyards. The summer continued with very cool but now increasingly dry conditions (thank goodness).
Only January of the summer months was even close to average temperatures. December and February were markedly below average, resulting in one of the coolest summers on record. By the end of February, it was obviously going to be a late start to the harvest and our greatest hope became that it didn’t start to rain. Well it just got better and better from there.
Not only did the rain hold off with a record (since 1905-06) 56 days without rain through February and March, continuing into a very dry April but the temperatures remained at almost their summer levels. During April when most of the harvest was gathered, temperatures were well above average. These were perfect conditions for ripening and harvesting grapes.
Ripeness levels were very high yet the wines possess a tautness of structure and balance that keeps them remarkably elegant for wines of this size. It’s the perfect combination and will also mean they will cellar very well. We couldn’t (and still can’t) believe our luck. It’s the best vintage we’ve had.
For the record, harvesting began on the 25th March and concluded on 25th April (Anzac Day).
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