VINTAGE VIGNETTES: WEEK FIVE
Welcome to the next in our series of snippets straight from Chief Winemaker Tim Shand, revealing all the magic and momentum of our first certified organic vintage...
"The cool nights tell us it’s autumn, but the weather stays sunny and reliable. Older heads in the region caution patience as we start to harvest the reds, it looks to be a vintage that will keep giving if the fruit is allowed to hang. A Goldilocks season indeed - not too hot, not too cold and rain at just the right times.
We had a foray into Shiraz this week. W4 block is always first in, and with low-ish crops and a well-balanced canopy the fruit spectrum ripened evenly into blueberry/mulberry notes with good intensity. We grabbed a touch of Viognier to co-ferment at about 6%.
We also did a small, speculative pick in U11 (our best block) knowing that what we may lose in richness we’ll gain in spice and natural acidity, capturing savouriness and tension with an earlier pick.
The white harvest finished with our intriguing old blocks of Chenin and Semillon. Both planted in 1978 next to the winery, they sit apart from our broader plantings and ripen to their own clock. The fruit characters are very different (more opulent and complex), and we pushed them as far as we felt comfortable to make richer styles from these varieties. They will see skin and whole bunch ferments for enhanced texture and weight, and a nice mix of oak (the Semillon also has our concrete egg to itself for the next few months).
A sneaky bottle of 2015 Pol Roger Vintage Brut (excellent, despite the very warm year there!) was opened in the cellar to celebrate an entirely successful white grape harvest where we were able to pick at a leisurely pace and capture the generosity and detail of the season."