If I must describe V18 in one word it would be patience.
V18 started very quickly and with social media these days I started to see people in my region start to pick their fruit, as I started to think we should start too. But then I reminded myself to run my own race and question myself as to why are should we pick now. There is no disease pressure, no birds, no pending rain, lets just wait. And we did. We waited and started our vintage around the normal March Long Weekend.
First to come off was the Chardonnay and Muller. Leaving the Chardonnay out has rewarded us with a 14% alc wine which shows the ripeness of the year. Still in barrel but no doubt will be a big and flavoursome Chardonnay.
I am particularly impressed with the Muller. Lots of beautiful white flowers on the nose. This white flower is on trend now and combined with lovely floral perfumes this wine should sell out very quickly.
Next was the Pinot and Riesling. We battled some hot temperatures that week making picking a day to pick difficult. The Pinot has high alc of 14% making it a big pinot reminiscent of our 2010. If I look back a pinot alc 2016 was 13.5%, 2017 12.5% and now 2018 14% shows you the diversity we must manage in the winery with our cool climate and vintage conditions. While 14% may be considered high alc for Pinot, I am confident the fruit weight will be balanced as we continue to make exceptional Pinot Noir from this vineyard.
The Riesling too has slightly higher alc of 12.5% but people will love the more aromatic and fruit ripe style, so I expect it to sell well.
Then we picked the Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Again, the riper higher alc year will prove well in the Great Southern this year, especially Cabernet.
The Merlot had about 20% of whole bunches in ferment which will soften the palate and I am also excited by the Merlot ferment during vintage. Such an excellent wine and I am looking forward to releasing it in 2 years.
Our final pick this year was not the Cabernet but the Shiraz. Slower to ripen we picked one lot first and decided to leave one block of shiraz out to ripen a further 3 weeks. Again- so unusual not to be battling the weather and rain, so we made the most of the conditions. The results a beautiful and powerful shiraz which looks amazing in the winery. Some has already been made into a Sparkling Shiraz and will be released next Christmas.
We also hand pick 2 rows so instead of putting into the mix we keep it separate and made some whole bunch shiraz which looks amazing. The perfume just jumps out of the glass and I look forward to finishing this wine in a couple of months.
In conclusion the Great Southern area will be producing some higher alc wines in 2018 showing great ripeness and power not often seen in our wines. I am very excited about our wines and have no doubt they will be received well.
Enjoy the Wines
Cheers Kim Tyrer
CEO & Winemaker