VINTAGE VIGNETTES: WEEK SEVEN
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...
"As we watch the second cold front of the week cross the capes, whoever was silly enough to call this the Goldilocks vintage is realising that with every Goldilocks comes a big angry Papa Bear at the end.
This vintage has always run about two weeks behind ‘normal’, with grape ripening slow and even, pushed out by the cool spring we had.
Like the frog in the pot, the longer it goes, the closer to the dicey change of season you get, and Easter is notorious for heralding that change in Margaret River.
We rely on three sources for our weather forecast; the Bureau of Meteorology or 'BoM' (blissfully optimistic, for those seeking solace), the Windy app (prudent and detailed, more for the intellectual) and finally the Metvuw website, whose grim colour scheme indicating imminent rain brings together the palette of Jackson Pollock with the bitter reckoning of Nick Cave. It’s best taken with three fingers of Scotch or a triple espresso.
All three sources agreed this week that trouble was on the way. Cabernet, which has had such a good run to this point, suddenly found itself exposed. On the cusp of greatness, but with disaster as its bedfellow. To pick or not to pick, it was time for decisive action. So as a true Libran, I chose both!
We’ve had red hot go in the ripe parts of our best two Cabernet blocks – V9 and U12. The tannin ripeness of the year and the bright red fruit is evident for both batches.
The remaining fruit we entrust to the vintage gods and the diligent preparation of our vineyard team, which goes right back to shoot thinning and de-lateraling in November and the open, well-ventilated canopies they laid down..."