We have been making wine here for 30 years and I haven’t seen an average year yet.
Another roller-coaster season with the warmest October ever to start the growing season (average temp 18 deg C vs average of 13.1 deg C) followed by an unseasonally cool November which upset flowering in Chardonnay and Pinot. This caused very poor fruit set in Chardonnay and Pinot. Thankfully the Sauvignon flowered after the cool weather and set normally.
Unprecedented numbers of very hot days in Jan and early Feb thankfully pre veraison where flavour impact is minimal. Our dryland vines with their deep roots sailed through the heat unaffected.
Then rain. We had 130mm of rain on the 13th and 14th of February which caused some splitting in the small berries of Chardonnay and Pinot followed by mould. The result is a write-off of Chardonnay and Pinot.
Thanks goodness we have just bottled our beautiful 2013 Chardonnay and Pinot so we will have supplies.
All through this the Sauvignon was fine. An average crop which had veraison (the start of ripening when the berries soften) post heat and rain. This fruit matured well and we picked over 3 days from the13th to the 15th of March.
We will make a Ferus this year. Our 2013 Ferus was bottled in February after its year on lees in old barrels and it is looking taught and fine. One for the long haul.
And the Riesling. Well I just don’t think 2014 is a year for us with Riesling. As I speak the grapes are out in another 30mm of rain and the small crop has suffered. So we’ll leave it on the vine, lick our financial woulds and wait for 2015 and have another go.
The 2013 Riesling has just received 96 points from James Halliday and I must say its a cracker. It is our best Riesling yet I think. So fine and delicate, hauntingly perfumed with a tight savoury finesse on the palate.
So thats it. A tough growing season with some lovely Sauvignon but no Chardonnay, Pinot or Riesling to show for it.