On the last day of picking I thought to myself "if I never saw another bee again I would be happy!"
Before everyone complains about that comment- let me explain.
It has been a dry year- so dry. There's is no blossom on trees and the birds and the bees are hungry. When we were handpicking a few rows I went out to pick the bins up, it was like picking up live bee hives. It was a miracle I didn't get a bee sting this vintage. These aren't the normal cute bumble bee, these are wild bees that pack a punch!
Vintage started very early this year on Feb 25th with the Chardonnay (13.1 baume) and Muller (11.9 baume). Tonnage was down but the acid and flavour is up and the wine looks good. Big tropical fruit flavours on the nose with a delicate sophisticated plate that we know and love from the Muller.
The Chardonnay is set for new French oak barrels and malolatic fermentation. Looking forward to producing a stylish wooded chardonnay with Peaches and cream flavours and a big generous palate to match.
The Riesling ( 11.4 Baume) followed on 28th Feb and again is a stand out. Every year I say it but I feel like this will be our best Riesling yet! No adjustments at tank proving that we have grown some quality grapes and picked them at the prefect time. Made from 100% free run and producing a prefect Riesling reflecting the purity of this variety, with punchy strong lemon and floral flavours
On the 12th March we handpicked our Pinot Noir. Crush straight into tank the juice is looking fantastic.
The Merlot was picked on 18th March. Tonnage is low but again flavour is amazing. Strongest colour I have seen in a long time. Fermented in small batches, the old fashion foot stomp was called for which was interesting.
The 28th March we picked our Cabernet Sauvignon (13.5 Baume). Again tonnage was low but the fruit look really good. Typical leafy cool climate cab flavours and intense violets floral notes on the nose. Very excited about this wine and expecting it to be one of our best Cabernet Sauvignon.
Last but not least 4th April we finished mechanically harvesting our Shiraz (14.1 Baume). Tonnage was good. This wine has a generous round sweet palate with nice notes of plums.
All in all the growing conditions have been described as ideal with mild temperatures without heat spikes, cool night-time temperatures, and low rainfall recorded. The rain in September-October set us up for a good season – it helped our vines establish a good canopy. There has been no disease pressure and the fruit has been allowed to ripen in a consistent manner. However some rain would be greatly appreciated now.....