Vintage is a wrap and what a vintage it was!
Plentiful frost days and heavy rains in winter delayed budburst, and spring continued in this mild (and wet) fashion. Pinot noir in particular was slow to wake up.
Berry set was very inconsistent across the different varieties, due to the variable spring weather which ranged from glorious to inclement. Bunch size in pinot gris and pinot noir was very small, whilst chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet set a large crop.
High ground water levels, clear days and cold nights throughout November and December were the harbinger of the vintage to come. We had excellent canopies with slowly developing bunches. The mild conditions persisted into January and February. Warm, sunny days (not too warm) with crisp nights and mornings. Perfect for slow ripening, delicate flavours and acid retention. There was no disease threat from rain, and we harvested at leisure. Blocks came on in their usual order, and we had the luxury of some quality hang time in the older blocks of pinot noir and cabernet.
The vintage has the hallmarks of both 2012 and 2015, with reason to believe it may be a touch better. We are seeing great concentration of flavour, and a touch more complexity than at the same point in those years.
Across the valley, chardonnay will be the highlight. Here at the winery in Coldstream we are particularly excited about sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and gamay. We have also dug deep into the experimental well, and there are many batches in the winery that are well left of centre, to be released to our Punters Club later in the year. Keep an eye out.
– Tim Shand