The first red fruit rolled into the winery on the 12th February from Southern Barossa Valley grower, Bob Mitchell. His Trial Hill Road Shiraz was low yielding and super small berried. Once pressed off we truly saw what this vintage was going to deliver. Wines of great colour and tannin structure to complement the vibrant aromas and flavours.
We have been blessed with near perfect ripening weather, together with just the right amount of rain at the most appropriate time. After an incredibly dry Spring and Summer the vines were starting to feel the strain but this was arrested with rain of up to 30mm gently replenishing the soil in late January.
A string of cool nights and warm days through January and February set us up for some awesome quality. At Nuriootpa, central Barossa Valley, the January average maximum was 30.4° C and average minimum 15.5° C. February’s average maximum was 29.1° C and average minimum 13.5° C resulting in near perfect ripening conditions throughout this critical period. Also we have pleasingly avoided the dreaded heatwave which can speed sugar ripeness and deplete natural acidity creating an in-balance with flavour and tannin ripeness.
As per previous seasons we harvested Western & Southern Barossa Valley Shiraz first and over the course of February moved eastwards across the Valley. Late February saw Eden Valley Riesling develop near perfect natural ripeness, with trademark lemon-lime citrus flavours appearing at a point where natural acidity was optimal. High Eden Riesling being a standout.
The beginning of March was warm and dry which accelerated the ripening of Eden Valley Shiraz and later Barossa Valley varieties such as Grenache and Mourvedre. A significant rain event on the 10th March saw much needed moisture infiltrate the thirsty soils and herald the beginning of cooler days and nights. Slower ripening then persued the rain event ensuring full flavour and tannin ripeness developed in Barossa Valley Grenache and Mourvedre as well as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from Eden Valley.
In summary, a classic Barossa vintage!
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