First to come of the vine was the Chardonnay with near perfect ripening conditions. Light summer rain during January helped the vitality of the vines. No bird peck due to the marris blossoming at just the right time to attract the birds to it rather than our fruit. February and March saw warm conditions without any excessively hot days.
The spectacular Chardonnay came off in 5 different batches in the early hours of the morning. Mostly handpicked and wild fermented.
Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc were next. Due to the cooler days they hung on for a little longer than normal and came off with good natural acidity and grassy fruit flavours. We look forward to blending them soon.
After a short break while waiting for the reds to ripen the next to come off was Cabernet Franc which was the lowest yield we have seen in some time however the quality is very high. This is something we use as a blending component so it will be a pleasure to blend with the intensity of flavour that this will bring.
Malbec was next up holding on for an extended period giving beautifully balanced acidity. After ferment it is showing very attractive aromas of rose petal and chocolate with Turkish delight characteristics and deep berry colouring.
Shiraz was next in line and also held on to develop nice ripe flavours and juicy red berry fruits. Small parcels have been put aside for us to consider as a potential special small batch of estate range single variety Shiraz.
Cabernet Sauvignon was last to come off just before the rain and the dropping of the marri blossom. Beautiful deep dark fruit with intense red berry flavours with beautiful structure just what we want to see in our Cabernet. We look forward to the final product of this as it is the best seen in sometime. Perhaps ever.
Overall, we are expecting that 2018 will be an outstanding vintage.