Thanks for coming back for the winery update I meant to do last week (but I got distracted)!
Before I do though, I want to quickly chat about that nasty hailstorm we had last Thursday.
According to the Adelaide Hills Wine Region, it seems that damage in Adelaide Hills was patchy but, in some cases, fairly severe.
Here is a map of the incidence and severity (the more “red”, the more hail damage)…
Unfortunately, I can’t find a clearer version for you, but that’s Hahndorf smack bang in the middle of the map. The areas affected include Lobethal (at the lower edge), Gumeracha, Birdwood and Mount Pleasant at the very top.
We were so lucky as a region that it wasn’t more widespread. Of course, those vineyards that did get hit were not lucky at all.
And then there’s the Barossa…
There were pockets in Eden Valley where vineyards have lost their entire crop.
Poor Tenafeate Creek Wines at One Tree Hill, which was at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak in July, had 80 per cent of their grapes destroyed.
And of course, grapes weren’t the only crop badly hit… lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis, many of which are grown in glasshouses around Virginia were amongst the most affected crops.
Our hearts go out to everyone still counting the damage.
Check out this blog to learn more about how hail and other bad weather events affect grapevines.
OK… onto that hotly anticipated winery update (which is now a week old!)!
2021 Sparkling Pinot
Most of this base wine is sitting happily in tank going through malolactic fermentation. In fact, it’s almost all the way through and showing really lovely malo characters. Rob also stores a small amount in barrel which he then blends back in to give the wine a degree of complexity.
He’ll look to bottle this one in January in preparation for turning it into sparkling wine!
This is the one we’re hanging out for. The barrel samples are showing remarkable tropical fruit aromas. Rob thinks that those falvours are developing even more than our standard 2021 Sauvignon Blanc!
Malolactic fermentation hasn’t really taken off as well as Rob would have liked by this stage. The warm days we’ve been having of late should help a bit. But to give it an extra helping hand, Rob is going to take some of the malo bugs from the bottom of the Sparkling tank (seeing they’re nice and active) and add them to the Fumé. Tricky!
Rob is looking forward to getting more malo character into the wine and he thinks it will definitely show the benefit of being in oak for another month or so.
He’ll not necessarily take it all the way through malolactic fermentation. There is a theory that stopping it part of the way through preserves more of the malo character. So, it will be interesting to see what happens there. The plan is to bottle this one in November, with a bottle turning up in January Jockey Club packs!
Another interesting thing about this one is that Rob has half of it in barrels from 2012 and half in barrels from 2016. And as expected, the “older” barrels haven’t given the wine as much oak flavour as the “newer” barrels.
Here is a picture of the two side by side. You can even see it in the colour…
The one on the left is the sample from the 2012 barrels – it’s really elegant. The one in the middle is the sample from the 2016 barrels – “not a shy wine”! And the one on the right is a blend of the two (much what the finished product will look and taste like).
I CAN. NOT. WAIT to try this one!
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The new Chardy has a very nice citrus peel character. It has only just started malolactic fermentation, but the palate is already really soft.
A 2021 Reserve Chardonnay isn’t on the cards for this vintage. It’s not quite big enough for a reserve, but that’s ok… we don’t want to make one of those each time anyway!
The new Pinot has a really nice pinot character (fancy that?!). Thankfully for those of us counting the days until its release, it will have only 12 months in barrel. Rob really enjoys the fragrance of the Pinot and doesn’t want to push the envelope just for the sake of extra complexity.
It will be bottled after vintage (Mayish) which is good news considering we are now officially out of 2019… (yes, sorry!).
Our 2021 Tempranillo blend is a big wine! It has quite a floral note which is very much the influence of the Graciano showing through. The addition of the Graciano lightens the wine off, but compensated with the florals.
According to Rob, it’s a “solid wine”. The tannins are obvious, but it won’t be bottled for another 12-18 months. It will benefit from a few more rack and returns before then.
2020 Shiraz and Sparkling Shiraz
Very Somerled! The 2020 Shiraz is lovely and elegant and is currently soaking up the oak beautifully. It will be bottled about July/August 2023.
But before then, we’ll need to get some of it into bottle around January in preparation for the 2020 Sparkling Shiraz. That should be ready to go by the middle of next year…
…and we should just have enough 2018 to see us through till then!! (crosses everything)