The consensus among local winemakers and vignerons is that the 2020 vintage is going to be one of the best yet. Thompson Estate’s winemaker, Paul Dixon said “With the lack of any heat waves during the critical ripening period for the whites, the fruit will be of the highest quality. The handpicked fruit from the ‘Specialist’ selected section of the Chardonnay block is by far the best I have ever seen.”
In addition to the exceptional quality, Paul said “Warm, dry conditions in November and December have resulted in the earliest vintage I have experienced. With 27 vintages under my belt in the Margaret River region, the next earliest vintage was in 2007 which started on 6 February.
The hand picking of the Pinot Noir for the Four Chambers Rosé and Chardonnay for the Specialist occurred in the last week of January which is about four weeks earlier than last year."
Owner, Peter Thompson reported “Yields are low this year but the fruit quality is excellent with the grapes showing great flavour concentration and a good acid backbone. We are also seeing prolific marri blossom flowering which is helping to keep the birds out of the vineyard.”
Margaret River’s maritime climate usually provides a high winter rainfall and an even temperature during the growing season. These factors combine to produce wines with outstanding flavour as well as structure and balanced acidity. The 2019-20 growing season was relatively dry. Apart from plentiful rainfall during June, other months had significantly lower rainfall than average (see chart courtesy Bureau of Meteorology), explaining the low yields but encouraging intensity of flavour for the 2020 vintage.