The late vintage reflected the ideal growing conditions throughout the season. Laidback technical/vinification parameters set the scene for the wine. The bouquet is precise and strongly varietal, but it’s not until the palate that the wine sets sail, and does so in fine style with citrus and apple taking control on the long finish. It’s the outcome of Geoff Weaver’s long experience with the vineyard, and his undoubted skill as a winemaker.
Crush, destem, gently airbag pressed. Clear settle juice and cold ferment to dryness. No need for additions of acid (which is so common in Australia) Our approach is to make the wine as naturally as possible with minimal additions. The fresh aromatics of the fruit are retained and, with gentle airbag pressing, harsh extractives are not generated.
The fire of 19th December took its toll on our Sauvignon. One whole block of Sauvignon (Well block) of 4600 vines was totally lost not to fire but heat. The fire scorched the canopy and we were left with wilted leaves and no growth. The fire itself was near but not in that vineyard. In other parts of our Sauvignon there were some spot fires and we lost some vines and many posts but generally the vines were OK. There were no smoke taint issues for us as the smoke level was only moderate for a short time and the grapes had only recently completed flowering.
Crop levels of close to 1.0kg/vine were well below our long term average of 2.7 kg/vine. Harvest from 8th to 10th of March two weeks earlier than our long term average harvest date of 24th March. There is a clear trend to earlier harvest dates over the 32 years we have been growing Sauvignon. Hand-picking occurred in mild weather from the 4th to the 6th of March. Heat degree day summation for the year was 1250 which is close to our long term average of 1270 Heat Degree Days (HDD). A cool start in Oct and November and a very warm January was followed by February mercifully free of extreme heat. Our old vines show the benefits of maturity with a good balance of crop and leaf plus more stable crops.
The growing season rainfall was only 175mm of rain from Oct to March below our long term average of 229mm. Disease pressure was consequently low and ripe healthy grapes were harvested. We grow our grapes without irrigation and they benefit, I believe, from deep roots sustaining them rather than more shallow ones subject to downpours and dry spells.