Vintage 2011 is on its way


Well we suspected as much after such a long dry spring and summer ... vintage is early! Our chardonnay came off last weekend, the earliest in our 40 year history. Perhaps the politicians should spend less time working out ways to exploit our minerals up north and more time developing timely environmental policies!

We gently whole bunch pressed our chardonnay at Mandalay, a fabulous winery run by Ryan Sudano in the Swan Valley, then brought the juice back home where it is patiently waiting in barrels for the natural yeasts to kick off. The focus of our winemaking, especially with our chardonnay, is minimal interference . 

The merlot and old vines shiraz are scheduled to be picked this weekend. To me vintage never really starts till the reds come in. So I am getting restless and excited! I love working with the old shiraz. This year the berries are the smallest I've seen in the past 5 years with chewy, biscuity tannins. I suspect this vintage will be high in colour and extract so we may reduce the proportion of whole bunches in the ferment. But there will always be some foot stomping and jigging in the old vines shiraz!

Also exciting is the co-fermentation I have planned with some of Uncle Ray's guilia patch shiraz and our row of viognier which we grafted a few years ago. Its maturity specs are matching the shiraz perfectly. Hopefully they will make a lovely couple in a fortnight's time.

Unfortunately the birds wreaked havoc on some of our old vines near the creek which weren't netted, but it looks like the old cabernet vines managed to pull through relatively unscathed. Mum's top patch cabernet is low cropping this year, but again, small concentrated berries. If the weather stays cool for the next few weeks and it gets some more hang-time, it should be another cracking vintage for the cabernet.

Our thoughts go out to those of our friends and neighbours who suffered from the recent Perth Hills bushfires. It was a pretty hairy time ... and looks like Perth Hills is on bushfire alert again this weekend.

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This page contains a single entry by Lara Bray published on February 11, 2011 8:32 PM.

Judging at the 2010 QANTAS Mt Barker Wine Show was the previous entry in this blog.

My thoughts on the 2011 vintage is the next entry in this blog.

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