Winery update

Winery / Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

I’m not going to beat around the bush… it’s been one heck of a week!

We’ve been run off our feet rolling out a fancy, brand new wine club management system which will hopefully (fingers crossed) make all of our lives easier. Thanks to everyone for your help and patience while we get all that sorted.

The girls at the Cellar Bar have also been flat out packing all your May Jockey Club packs. With a few notable exceptions on the packing line due to COVID-19 restrictions, it took a little longer than usual, but we got there in the end. 

And personally, I’ve almost had enough of having to keep a clingy pre-schooler entertained at home without the help of playgroups, swimming lessons, various playgrounds, play dates and extended family members! I take my hat off to anyone out there “home-schooling” at the moment (even more so if you’re working at the same time!). I DO NOT know how you do it!?!


So, why am I boring you all my (first world) problems you ask?!

Because then maybe… just maybe, you’ll forgive me for handing this week’s post over to a quick winery update from Rob. I was hoping this might tide you over until next week when hopefully my brain will be back in blog writing mode!


What do you reckon?


Let’s face it, you don’t really have a choice (sorry!)! So, over to you Rob!


Now, he started off his update by saying that things are pretty quiet, but this looks far from quite to me! See what you think…

2020 Graciano

This tiny little amount came into the winery 2 weeks ago, it was crushed to a small fermenter and cold-soaked for 3-4 days Then the yeast was added.  It fermented happily and was racked and the skins pressed last Friday.  It’s now in a barrel, “sugar dry”, and was inoculated with Malolactic bacteria yesterday. 

It looks a bit stirred up at the moment, so I’m looking forward to seeing it in a couple of weeks when the lees settle down to the bottom. 

As we mentioned last week, the volume is too small to contemplate a special release of Graciano. So it will definitely finish up being blended – almost certainly with the Tempranillo.


2020 Tempranillo

This has been off skins for a while and is now sugar dry.  It was inoculated with Malolactic bacteria on Tuesday. 

It has a very nice flowery nose and solid colour and palate – very promising!


2020 Pinot Noir Rose

This wine has a lovely pale blush-pink colour and a flowery aromas and flavours.  It just needs its secondary (Malolactic) fermentation to get going and it will be soon ready to bottle!

It’s looking really nice, with lifted aromas typical of this vintage.


2020 Pinot Noir LDR (Light Dry Red!!)

This wine has been made from pinot noir grapes which were picked early from Paul Henschke’s vineyard at Summertown. 

The early picking means that the colour would be, and is, very light. And so too is the wine’s body.  This is a dramatically new style for Somerled and so far, so good!

It will be bottled early, with no obvious barrel maturation influences and will be released early as well.  It has already completed Malolactic fermentation (MLF) so it’s all good at the moment!


2020 Pinot Noir Reserve Dry Red

This is another wine with an absolutely stunning nose – so clean, lifted and floral.  It has completed MLF as well.

It too is fairly light in colour, but pinot is often like that and we will no doubt see a deepening in colour as the wine matures in barrel. 

The barrels are not brand new, but they haven’t been used often. That means they will impart a little oak character to the wine.  It’s already soft, so that’s a great start too.


2020 Reserve Chardonnay

This is looking really lovely, with the usual white peach aromas complemented by fuller almost “melony” notes.  It’s started MLF and the malic acid level has gone from about 4.0 g/L to 2.5 g/L a week ago.  We’re looking forward to seeing that drop further when the tests come back from the lab today. 

It’s a big rich wine as fits the “Reserve” label. It is due for prolonged barrel maturation in a new and two nearly new barrels.  It should be about this time next year when it comes out of barrel ready for bottling.


2020 Chardonnay

It has taken quite a bit longer for this wine to completely ferment all the sugar, but that is done now and the wine was inoculated with the MLF bacteria on Wednesday. 

The wine is of a similar style to the Reserve, but like the 2016, it is more along the elegant, refined earlier developing style.  Aromas are great, and the palate is soft and long. It’s still very tart, but MLF will change all that given that it significantly reduces the wine’s natural acidity. 

It will get something like 6 or 7 months barrel maturation before coming out for bottling.


2020 McLaren Vale Shiraz

The fruit was terrific for this wine and it shows.  The wine is incredibly dark (good old McLaren Vale again) and the flavours so rich and deep and compelling. 

It has been inoculated with MLF bugs and that secondary fermentation is now underway.  It’s still in tank while this happens and will go into some nice barrels when MLF is complete.  I’m aiming at 20% brand new oak with some of the other barrels nearly new.  A wine this big can handle a fair bit of oak flavour without being dominated by oak!




For a vintage that started out on not the greatest foot, it sure sounds like we have some very exciting wines coming our way!

Thanks Rob!

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